The Taiji Circle is such a great graphic!
In one elegant and simple design it conveys so much meaning. A circle with an S curving through the middle, one half white, the other half black, and each side with a dot of the other side’s color in it.
Seems no matter how long this symbol has been a part of my life, the meaning to which it points goes ever deeper. The symbol refers to the yin-yang philosophy that the dualistic nature of all that we see in the world can be understood not as mutually exclusive contrary opposites, but as complementary to, arising from and dissolving back and forth into each other. Night becomes day, summer becomes winter, etc.
Qualities, not Things
Yin and yang are qualities, or aspects of things, they don’t exist on their own. No thing that exists, exists in isolation or absolutely. And therefore, no one thing is yin, and no one thing is yang – but everything may be yin or yang relative to something else. And the same thing maybe yin in one regard and yang in another regard, relative to a single other thing. It’s just not as simple as black and white.
Seems to me the human challenge is to recognize the harmony among the opposites. Black and white relate to one another, and black and white have the seed of their opposite within. I find this incredibly valuable to remember – especially when I am in what feels like conflict with someone else. Whatever I feel is in opposition, I first notice the seed of that in me, in my position, and then I remember that my position exists in relation to theirs – this gives me the ability to accept their position, without abandoning my own and points the way toward some resolution reflected in the greater whole.
Right! The greater whole – the circle in which all this dualistic interplay is happening. For ultimately, there is something which cannot be talked about or described, because it is not subject to the yin and yang of life, but encompasses them both. For me, this is where blogging stops and the practice of taiji begins. Moving through 108 moves of my taiji form, I feel the harmonious interplay of all the seemingly opposing forces – up and down, advance and retreat, form and emptiness, mind and body, and on and on and on…..
Til the next move, enjoy your practice