The Chinese spring festival is always in the coldest days, the solar term Li-Chun (stand-up of spring) can remind us that the spring is coming silently with a new year.
The earth is waking up gradually, but only when we can hear the thunders on the day of solar term Jing-Zhe (wake-up hibernation), are we awakened of the awaking.
In the way of Zen practice, the “spring” is always in preparation to wake up; the energy of wisdom and compassion is growing up in suffering and afflictions silently. When we “hear” the “thunder” of enlightenment, don’t be too excited, it is just the very-beginning to bloom up.
We need patience for the arrival of spring by enduring the temporary freezing. It is a melting freezing. But before the real spring arrives, we should keep warm enough to protect ourselves from the cold. The difficulties or obstacles in Zen practice are also temporary freezing, when we run into them; they are melting at the same time. But before they completely melt away, we should also have the convenience of wisdom and compassion to prevent ourselves from being frozen at that time!
When we are looking at the blooming flowers and birds on new branches, we should also feel grateful to the freezing days. Our power of wisdom and compassion are cultivated through endless freezing moments.
Spring is coming, but in fact, "spring" is always there deep inside!