Living in China and having a long personal history of martial arts, Chinese history, culture and my own spiritual practice embedded in China for the past fifty years, has; over the years made me very interested in Daoism/Taoism, Lao Tzu/ Lao Zi, the Dao De Jing/Tao Te Ching, I Ching..there are so many ways they are represented globally 🙂 The difference between Daojia 道家 , Taoist Philosophy and Daojiao 道教, Daoist Religion brings even more confusion to the western world let alone understanding the I Ching (The Book of Change), the oracle of fortune, a guide to success and a dispensary of wisdom. The ancestor of all Chinese philosophy, it is the primary source for the pragmatic mysticism of the Tao Te Ching, the rational humanism of Confucius, and the analytic strategy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and of course the wonderful Yin 酓 Yang 昜 in traditional Chinese and Yin阴Yang 阳 in modern simplified Chinese.
Yin is the black side with the white dot in it, and yang is the white side with the black dot in it. The relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and a valley. Yin (literally the ‘shady place’ or ‘north slope’) is the dark area occluded by the mountain’s bulk, while yang (literally the ‘sunny place’ or ‘south slope’) is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang gradually trade places with each other, revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed.
Yin is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity , and nighttime.
Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime.
Yin and yang applies to the human body. In traditional Chinese medicine good health is directly related to the balance between yin and yang qualities within oneself.If yin and yang become unbalanced, one of the qualities is considered deficient or has vacuity.
Anyways, I could go on forever trying to explain Yin Yang, The Dao/Tao so I thought I would share with you this very short cartoon animated Ted Talk video explaining Yin Yang, I hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire you to learn more about Daoism 🙂
The ancients first began accumulating wisdom when they came upon the idea that one could be the observer. They would watch the way things worked without prejudgment. They did this not only with nature, but also with human interactions.
The more they watched, the more they recognized patterns in everything. In Nature, they began to understand the cycles of life. Among people, they saw actions and reactions, relationships and conflicts. They began to record their insights about these patterns, and their writings were collected in ancient classics like the I Ching.
One interesting benefit of being the observer is the clarity that comes to play. When you look at an event with impartial detachment, you can see far more than the people who are in the thick of it. They have a limited view of what is in front of them instead of an expanded view that takes everything around them into account. Detached observation is what gives sages the clarity to solve seemingly impossible problems; they watch and understand before deciding on a course of action.
Practice being the observer. Watch yourself go through your activities today as if you were watching a movie. If you are driving and someone cuts you off, take a step back mentally and watch how you react, and notice how you deal with road rage much more easily in this frame of mind.