The Tiger is Coming

I picked up a used book last week by Sakyong Mipham (Chogyam Trungpa’s son); titled, Ruling Your World.

What got me excited was a section called The Path of the Tiger.

At the spring equinox we enter the time of Metal (according to the Chinese 5 element system) and the animal associated with this time is the Tiger.

Though the Tibetan Shambhala teachings do not necessarily equate to the Chinese Five Element system I found his description of the Path of the Tiger to be enlightening.

For instance:

“On the path of the tiger, we begin to look at our lives with an eye to what to cultivate and what to discard.”

“Discernment is associated with the tiger. The tiger is completely alert, whatever it is doing. It respects its surroundings. It doesn’t rush into things. It knows when it must hunt on the plains and when it must go to a cool place and rest. The tiger doesn’t run around in circles looking for something to eat. First it sits quietly and surveys the landscape to see what is there; then it pounces with exertion.”

“The tiger is discerning because it understands the law of karma.”

Metal is associated with the end period of life, old age. In comparison to Wood (spring time) there is a stillness in an older person that is not present in youth. A wise older person is like a tiger – he/she doesn’t rush into things, and generally an older person is more discerning.

The real kicker though is the last part of the second quoted paragraph; then it pounces with exertion. What this means is that, unlike the stereotypical image of an old person sitting sucking their teeth, a wise, healthy old person is still capable of exertion when the time is right.

So if you have a discerning eye, you will practice qigong to cultivate healthy Qi and discard negative energy whenever you can.

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