Workshop : Sat 23 Nov 1.30pm to 5.30pm
Suitable & beneficial for everyone. Easy & enjoyable. No experience is necessary.
Wesley Centre Hall
corner National Circuit & Fitzroy Street, Forrest
behind the Rydges Hotel
Enter through the main entrance of the building in the car park.
$240- (GST included)
Students who also enrol in Tai Chi, Qigong or Wu Dao Gong are eligible for a special rate of $200-.
Revision rate for previous participants, $100-.
►► Note: Please bring a notebook and pen, a bathtowel and 2 clothes pegs, blanket and cushion (or pillow) to sit on. If you are unable to sit on a cushion, chairs are available. ◄◄
Bookings are essential.
Phone 02 6296 1357 or use our online payment facility now – the fast and efficient way to enrol.
Please pay the workshop fee to confirm your booking.
We welcome payment by credit card – M/C, visa, Amex.
It has long been understood that when we are in balance and harmony, we are healthy and happy. In Chinese culture, there are many methods used to create this state in our lives. The ancient Taoists developed nourishing herbal formulae, music, massage, acupuncture and various exercises and meditations based on nature to restore and maintain balance. The Taoists employed the principle of yin and yang and the 5 element theory to understand the body and mind and our relationships to each other and nature. Most of us have heard of yin and yang and their roles in seeing deficiency or excess in the body and everything in the world. It is deceptively simple. However, it requires a certain level of skill to be able to apply it well.
The 5 elements, wuxing, are less well known and understood. It is a more sophisticated, dynamic representation of the world and its energies. It can offer greater clarity to the nature of many of our problems and offer many more options for harmony and balance. It provides traditional Chinese medicine with its unique geography of the human body in terms of the functioning of the major organs and their relationships with each other. In this workshop, Fontane will use her extensive knowledge of the five elements to help you understand how the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water can produce health and harmony in your life, especially in terms of relationships.
Through a deep appreciation of human nature and energy, the ancient Chinese sages could see how we are made up of different qualities that correspond with the five elements. For example, some of us are more woodlike while some are more firelike. These elements with their associated energies have a profound effect on our personalities and how we live our lives. Seeing the interplay of elements in situations and relationships enables us to become more harmonious and compassionate with ourselves and others. It also enables us to be less judgemental, act accordingly and flow in situations because we can see the bigger picture. All the great sages of the past recognized the value of cultivating ourselves. In modern terminology, we call it personal development.
The five elements are five energetic qualities that relate to our yin and yang organs, wood to the liver and gallbladder, fire to the heart and small intestine, earth to the spleen and stomach, metal to the lungs and large intestine, and water to the kidneys and bladder. The organs also have a connection with our emotions, for example the liver corresponds to anger, the heart to happiness. When the organs are healthy, they entrain with each other and produce a state of flow and contentment. When they are out of balance, we suffer all kinds of problems and become upset or depressed easily. When we have a better understanding of the five elements and the role they play in our health and in our mood, we can extend and apply this knowledge to improve our relationships with others and avoid unnecessary conflicts. Instead of arguing, we learn to apply the right antidote element that will not inflame the situation but will instead inject harmonious energy. How valuable will that be in both personal and work environments!
Energy stagnation occurs easily in the digestive system. Some of the common causes are eating too quickly, not chewing food sufficiently, the mind pre-occupied with reading, catching up on social media, etc., a weak digestive system. Also, according to the ancient Chinese cosmological calendar, this is a year dominated by the earth element which affects the digestive system. We, as human beings, are naturally affected by weather and nature, all energy. Hence, issues associated with the stomach and spleen are more prominent this year. The spleen plays an important role in the healthy functioning of our immune system.
In this very interesting workshop, you will learn a sitting qigong meditation that helps to relieve stagnation from the digestive system, thus enabling better absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. As you may already be aware, stress and tension have a very negative impact on the digestive system. Learning a short, effective qigong meditation that addresses this problem is a very valuable skill. It will help to boost your immune system and your overall sense of well being. Your mind will feel much clearer. This unique practice only takes 10 to 20 minutes. Add this as a short prelude to your favourite meditation and you will notice how much better your mind is able to focus throughout the whole session.
In ancient Chinese culture and traditional Chinese medicine, having good relationships with others is seen as a strong foundation for harmony and balance in society. Hence, the understanding of the 5 element theory is very valuable in establishing a thriving community. Investing in your health and well being will also benefit those around you!
"The Five Elements Workshop was really fascinating. I was able to use my understanding of wood, fire, earth, water and metal the following week in a difficult (metal) situation at work. I applied some contagious enthusiasm (fire) and the situation loosened up. Far better than just sitting back and accepting things the way they were (earth)!
I’m reasonably new to meditation but I felt the effects this unusual meditation immediately. I left feeling lighter, carefree and very relaxed.
I’d highly recommend this workshop."
Cynthia, Public Servant
"I found the 5 Elements Workshop useful and have a better understanding of how these elements work in everyday life.
Fontane has a wealth of knowledge to share."
"As well as benefitting from learning Hun Yuan Tai Chi, I recently attended the 5 Elements Workshop with Fontane. As I am now in my 60s, I’m appreciating the additional workshops that are on offer, especially learning the sitting qigong meditation practice which helps with digestion. The workshop also included understanding the 5 elements and how we can use this knowledge in our everyday life. Fontane’s workshops and short courses are always very informative and interesting."
"It was great to get a deeper understanding of the 5 elements, to understand more about this foundation philosophy. It provides a helpful context to think about both health and life problems.
The meditation in this course was the first sitting meditation I have attempted. Like the other "energy work", it is a bit weird to start with. I have found it a good way to work on bringing my attention to my "Dan Tian" (the energy centre in the abdomen) and the focus on digestion is also really good for me."
"The five elements of nature are at once simple and deeply complex. Fontane was able to explain the elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water and their relationships simply. I found the high level explanation and discussion of the system very informative and useful. I understood how the five elements cycle diagnoses relationships that can be supportive or unhelpful, and options for moving forward. It resonated with a particular dynamic I had experienced recently in a work committee. I applied the five elements and relaxed about the situation as “natural” given the energetic qualities of those involved. I then focused on applying my knowledge to think how I could balance and harmonise the group instead of repeating a dynamic that was uncomfortable and not productive.
I also learned to appreciate how dangerous stagnation can be in relationships or your own health. The easy way the five elements is covered in the workshop helped me to better understand the causes of illness, importance of balance and being on the lookout for ways of thinking and acting that damage your natural system.
The dominance of the earth element this year has a negative impact on the digestive system so we learnt a mediation that worked on the spleen to boost the immune system. I found the short meditation easy to do and had a strong positive impact on my mind and body. I felt lighter, clear in my mind and full of energy.
Since the workshop, I look at relationships differently and sometimes behave differently, to good effect. I am surprised how much better I feel when I can do this as I avoid a lot of inner conflict and stress to my organs.
I am also reading over my notes and considering how the five elements of nature intertwine and support other workshops and practices that I have learnt with Fontane and the Academy."