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June 2022 Flying Needle News

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Red Bird's wings unfurl Yang reaching ever outwards

Summer is vibrant!

The Red Bird is the guardian of the South. The totemic animal associated with Fire and Summer.

Hello Friends of Flying Needle!

Happy Grain in Ear!

- third summer solar node -

Hope this finds you well during these interesting times!

Seasonal Musings & Reflections

It is a beautiful morning here in Chapel Hill! The scent of magnolia and gardenia blossoms accompanied my morning practice. Feeling grateful for the beauty of the natural world! Grain in Ear, whose literal translation is "busy sowing," is named for the time when it's best to plant grain crops with awns. This third Summer solar node began on Monday, June 6th. Days continue to lengthen as Yang increases in expression. We are nearing the longest day of the year, the peak expression of Yang. The Summer Solstice is June 21, 5:13 AM EDT. While recently it has been milder, we have already had a number of robustly hot and humid days. For some of us, the intense heat and humidity are more than a little uncomfortable. These climatic factors can resonantly activate patterns in our bodies that are deeply challenging, even oppressive. If the later is true for you, consider reaching out to your acupuncturist for a tune-up, and/or your herbalist for a seasonally appropriate formula. As we've been noting, Summer is the season of Fire. Fire by its nature is expansive and unbounded. It is the most yang of all the phases.

The Sun shines freely upon all being and becoming.

My daughter is ready beyond words for school to end this Thursday. She's longing for the less structured time of the Summer. While the yearlong school schedule is a construct of questionable efficacy, the spaciousness of a long break in the Summer is in keeping with Fire's innate exuberance. Are there ways to open our Summer days for emergent expressions in resonance with the season? If you feel so inclined, as you discover opportunities for creative Summertime exuberance, please reach out and share them! Remember this is the season to enjoy cooling foods, and teas, dress appropriately for the weather, and ideally, not work or train outside during the hottest part of the day. If possible taking 10 – 20 minutes for meditation, or a nap during this part of the day is beneficial.

Crane Breathing

Crane, or Bird Breathing, is a breath practice that can be used to help cool the body. The breathing pattern imitates the ability of many birds to expand and puff out their bodies. This is understood to be one of the ways that birds thermoregulate.

- Mouth is closed. Tongue tip touches the upper palate just behind the teeth.

- Exhale from the lower abdomen (dantian) completely, yet without straining or forcing.

- Breathe in through the nose smoothly and easily, fill the body to ½ your usual breath capacity.

- Pause. Allow the felt-sense of that retained breath to expand to the edges of the body. This will likely take longer than you would imagine. It should not be forced, strained, or uncomfortable.

- Exhale. Repeat cycle 10 times. Can be explored in sitting, or standing.

In standing it is often easier to feel the sense of breath expansion during the pause. Stand with feet parallel and hip distance apart.

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions!

It is my sincere hope that you have found something of use in these words.

If you know folks who you feel would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it their way! Thank you!

Wishing you and all your relations wellbeing and good medicine!

With gratitude,


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