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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Staying With the Hidden Rhythm of Life...

Image of the sun rising
Sunrise sets the pace
A Hidden Rhythm...
Life has a hidden rhythm.  Society follows it.  It runs inside of us.  Monastic traditions observe it and it is an important part of Eastern medicine. Things appear to shift on Mother Earth beginning at daylight and continue at intervals of about 3 hours apart.

Following the light of day, eating meals at regular intervals and avoiding artificial light are ways to stay in sync with it.

An Ideal Society Would be Shaped Around It...
The daily shifts of an ideal society would follow basic positions of the sun. 

Rising from sleep would begin at the rise of the sun. We would start our working at 9 am, a time when mental acuity begins to sharpen and the sun is at its midpoint between rising and positioning directly overhead.

Somewhere around 12 noon when the sun is directly overhead, we would take a break from our 3 hours of concentrated work and possibly eat a meal. We would then resume our daily task until 3 pm when the sun is midway to setting on the horizon.   

Here, our energy wanes and it is time for siesta or "break time" as it is called in modern industrial/cyber society. After break time, we would resume our activities until 6 pm. During the time between 6 pm and 9 pm our energies shift. We focus on activities other than work. 

At dark, there is a secretion of melatonin, which brings the onset of sleep. 

Of course this daily rhythm, synced as it would be to the movement of the sun, would only take place in a society which is in sync with the movement of natural earth rhythm.  To connect with this natural rhythm, we would need to periodically remove ourselves from industrial/cyber society and re-connect with the earth and sun.

Activities such as camping trips, vacations in remote places, visits to high vortex sacred places and to ashrams and monasteries, would be actions that remove us from many of society's unnatural rhythms. 

Such actions would allow our bodies to regain their natural schedule.

Monastic Traditions Observe It...
We mention monasteries, because we stayed with a traditional monk at a monastery quite a while back. There, the rhythm of our meals and prayers, etc., also followed about 3-hour intervals throughout the day and night. These times appeared to us to be portals in sacred time where chants and prayers have the most impact. 

From this experience we began to look around and observed that many sacred traditions observe prayer or ceremony of some type in cadence with this daily 3-hour rhythm.

It's Also Inside of Us...
Then we started finding out about circadian rhythms. These are rhythms of physiological change inside us.  And guess what?  We found out they run on about the same rhythms. Yes, they run about 3 hours apart, 12am, 3 am, 6 am, 9 am, etc.
Image of a circadian rhythm chart

At each of the intervals, a specific biologic change may start or stop inside of us. Neurotransmitters may go into action and hormones may be released and we may start preparing for a specific physiological activity.  An example of this, as mentioned above, is the release of melatonin at the onset of summer darkness (about 9pm).  Just about when the light disappears from the sky, the hormone melatonin is released by the pineal gland. The complete cycle is shown here:
Human Circadian Biological Clock [Image].

An Important Part of Chinese Medicine...
These time intervals take on a special meaning in Chinese medicine because they are linked to specific activity of specific organs. For example, the hours the liver is most active are between 1 and 3am.  2am is considered the highpoint of liver activity in Chinese medicine.
(More on the Meridian system can be found here: The Acupuncture Meridian Clock.) 

We first learned about the liver's activity many years ago from reading a story by a woman who had problems waking up at 2am every night.  It turned out, she said, that her liver was congested.  She wrote that she was aware that 2am was when the liver was most active and she researched the possibility that her liver was being overworked. Perhaps her liver's overload was waking her up, she thought.

She said in her article she used Swedish bitters to cure herself of her sleep problem. Swedish bitters are one of many natural liver cleansing agents and turned out to be the correct one for her. 

(Readers: please consult with a medical professional if you are seeking answers to sleep or liver problems. Every person's cure is often a slight variation of what works for the next person.  This is what we understand the term "biodiversity" to mean.)

We remembered the story because it showed how the body, during its natural rhythms, can give clues about problems with specific organs. 

Staying in Sync with This Rhythm...
On a day-to-day basis, we try to stay in sync with this rhythm as a way of keeping ourselves balanced. We try to get outside first thing in the morning so as to set our inner clock with exposure to natural daylight.  We try to eat our meals at regular intervals.  After darkness, we avoid using artificial light as much as possible.  We also try to start to bed by 9 pm as best we can, and even earlier in the winter when darkness comes at an earlier time.

Through this activity we feel we are staying in sync with our inner nature and with the outer nature of things.  It is just our opinion though, and it is not intended as medical advice.


 Note: The above is our opinion and observation.  It does not represent the official view of persons, product-makers, service providers or advertisers cited in the article or elsewhere on this website.  It is not being offered as medical advice. Our intention is to do no harm. We encourage individuals with health issues to seek out qualified professionals.

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