On March 19, the night before the vernal equinox, we had the rare treat of a Supermoon – the first one in nearly 20 years. I walked down to the oceanfront park near my home to do my Liuhebafa beneath this astounding lunar event.
Here you see me doing (what else but) Rhinoceros Gazes At Moon – the 61st move of the Liuhebafa main form. The photo is a self-portrait done using the timer on my trusty little Nikon Coolpix atop a nearby picnic table, and with me near a lamp post (otherwise you wouldn’t see anything besides the moon). I propped the camera on a mitten to adjust the angle.
The rhinoceros in this move is advancing forward while gazing back over its shoulder at the moon. I have always taken several messages from this move. At one level it is the embodiment of vigilance and self-protection – being aware of all that surrounds us. At another, it can serve as a cautionary reminder about our tendency to move through life looking at where we have been instead of where we are going. Or this move can be warning us about the dangers of yearning so intently for lofty, distant, unattainable goals that we fail to experience the moment and the very ground we are standing on. (All meaning is constructed, and we are the architects.)
While the moon is a common symbol of yin energy in Taoism, it is a pre-eminent symbol of enlightenment in Buddhism. So even though Liuhebafa is a Taoist art, perhaps this move also offers us a reminder of our own never-ending quest (or longing) for enlightenment.
Rhinoceros Gazes At Moon is a favourite move of mine for purely physical reasons. There is a wonderful turning, cyclic quality to the movement – an energizing spiral twist coursing through my entire body from the ground up, as though this movement (and I, too) could go on forever.
The day after my Liuhebafa practice under the Supermoon, I was aflood with powerful creative energies, manifesting as two new poems and much more.
Although now extinct in China, certain rhinoceros species formerly roamed that part of the world. However, I have read that the rhinoceros in this move (literally “sworded ox”) is a mythical Chinese creature and not the ‘real’ animal we associate with that name.
May you be ever flowing,