THE LION DANCE
Imagine yourself lying under the Sun, soaking up its warm rays, and feeling all your muscles relax.
You begin stretching, all the way out to your fingers and toes, then standing up on all fours. The energy created by the Sun comes up and flows through your body. You shake your huge head and let out a roar that trembles everything down to the smallest molecule. You look out across the savannah, the ruler of all you survey. There are no challengers to your power and confidence. You begin to prance across the grasses, then moving faster and faster, feeling the pure joy of it.
The Lion, which is not found in China, is a mythical beast like the Dragon to the Chinese. Every important social and community event, every opening of a store or new enterprise is celebrated with the Lion Dance, to bless the endeavor and imbue it with all the power, strength and success of the Lion. Two dancers move under a huge colorful sculptural costume of bells, fringe and sequins, held underneath by wooden cross bars, making the Lion writhe and jump with endless energy and joy.
We use the same steps and gestures as we perform the Lion Dance in Qigong. Our open fists hold the imaginary crossbar, lifting and plunging as we move from side to side from our dantian. At first, our empty foot circles the surface of the grasses, and as we grow more confident in our prancing, we lift our knees and begin to really dance as we rotate.
This move brings energy up from beneath the Earth to ignite in our dantian with the inhale from Heaven every time our fist rises in front of our face. This is the energy of joy and lightness, the Pure Energy of Fire and Summer. Its joyful quality rises in us, bringing our Body, Mind and Spirit into the moment, allowing us to let go of extraneous thoughts, and be in the Now, which is the essence of the Fire of Consciousness.