Yin and Yang in Tai Chi Chuan

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In Wang Tzong-Yeuh's Tai Chi Classic he states "What is Tai Chi? It is generated from Wu Chi. It is the mother of Yin and Yang. When it moves, it divides. At rest it reunites"(*l). According to Chinese Taoist scripture, the universe was initially without life. The world had just cooled down from its fiery creation and all was foggy and blurry, without differentiation or separation, with no extremities or ends. This state was called "Wu Chi" (literally "no extremity"). Later, the existing natural energy divided into two extremes, known as Yin and Yang. This polarity is called Tai Chi, which means "Grand Ultimate" or "Grand Extremity," and also means "Very Ultimate" or "Very Extreme." It is this initial separation which allows and causes all other separations and changes.

You can see from this explanation that Tai Chi (Grand Ultimate) is not Wu Chi. Tai Chi is produced from Wu Chi and is

the mother of Yin and Yang. This means that Tai Chi is the process which is between Wu Chi and Yin and Yang. Then what is Tai Chi? It is the hidden force which is able to lead Wu Chi into the division of Yin and Yang, and also to lead the divided Yin and Yang to the unity of Wu Chi. In humans, this hidden force is Yi. Yi is intention and the motivation to action and calmness. Yi is the force which divides Wu Chi into Yin and Yang, and Yi is also the force which combines Yin and Yang into Wu Chi. When this hidden force is applied to natural Chi or energy, it is the EMF (electromagnetic force) which is building up or diminishing. In one word, Tai Chi is the "cause" of Wu Chi and of the division into Yin and Yang.

When Yin and Yang theory is applied to man, its root of action is your Yi (wisdom mind). It is your mind which decides if you will change your Wu Chi state into the Yin and Yang state, or if you will lead yourself from Yin and Yang into Wu Chi. That means that your Yi is the EMF which determines the entire situation: your Yin and Yang strategy, actions, or the Chi movements in Tai Chi Chi Kung.

It is also said: "Tai Chi begets two poles, two poles produce four phases, four phases generate eight trigrams (gates), and eight tri-grams initiate sixty-four hexagrams" (Figure 2-1). You can see that even Tai Chi is divided into Yin and Yang, that Yin or Yang themselves are again divided into Yin and Yang, and so on without end. For example, when Yin and Yang are divided in fighting strategy, each one must be subdivided into Yin and Yang, and each Yin and Yang must balance each other. The deeper you can analyze these layers and subdivisions of Yin and Yang and make them balance each other, the deeper you will be able to understand Tai Chi Chuan and Tai Chi Chi Kung.

Next, I would like to point out the basic Yin and Yang concepts in Tai Chi training. I hope this will help to give you a clearer understanding of the essence of Tai Chi, and thereby avoid errors and confusion in your training.

1. Tai Chi includes: A. Still Meditation (Yin), and B. Moving

Meditation (YangXFigure 2-2).

Yin still meditation can strengthen the mind (i.e., the EMF of the Chi), and can build up the Chi to a higher level. The still meditation of Tai Chi Chi Kung can open the paths of the Conception (Yin) and Governing (Yang) Vessels, and increase the Chi stored in them. When the Chi in these two vessels is abundant, the Chi circu- -lating in the twelve primary channels will be abundant, and therefore your physical body will be able to function more efficiently. Developing the Yi and the Chi through still meditation is the root of physical power. Remember: ONLY WHEN THE CHI IS STRONG CAN THE PHYSICAL BODY MANIFEST POWER. CHI IS THE YIN SIDE OF POWER, WHILE THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION IS THE YANG SIDE.

Earth Kuen

Weak Yang Shao Yang

Strong Yin TfciYin

Weak Yang Shao Yang

Heaven Chvan te

Weak Yin Shao Yin

Heaven Chvan te

Weak Yin Shao Yin

Yin Pole Yang Pole

YinYii YangYli ttft mir

Grand Ultimate Tai Chi

Figure 2-1. The Eight Trigrams are derived from Tai Chi

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  • ralph eberhart
    Who said tai chi is the mother of ying and yang?
    3 years ago

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