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Chinese Medicine, Balance and the Tai Qi symbol

How To View Balance In Your Life – Look To The Tai Qi Symbol

The Tai Qi symbol. The circular black and white symbol associated with Tai Chi has many meanings.  The basic meaning is one of balance existing in all things, as exhibited by the black (yang) side and opposite white (yin) side.  Also, within the black side is a white dot, and within the white side is a black dot.  This shows that even within all yang, there is some yin and visa versa. What this means is that yin and yang mean nothing in themselves – they only exist to give a label to compare things in life, compare opposites which exist in all aspects of living.  For example, without hot you would not know what cold was, there would be nothing to compare it to.  Without up, there would be no conception of down, as you would have nothing to compare it to.  The yin yang sympol only serves to show us that we need opposites to compare and contrast things in our life.


Another way to look at the Tai Qi diagram is the dividing line down the middle of the symbol.  This can be thought of as a moving barometer.  Moving up or down means moving to an extreme and the natural tendency is to move back into the middle.  Traditional Chinese Philosophy likens this to the “Middle Way”.  Avoiding extremes when possible, and sticking to the middle, is the way to go.


Here is one example:  Suppose you are really hungry –  you are uncomfortable.  In this situation you are more yin or empty.  You see a sign for your favorite buffet.  You enter the restaurant and eat, eat, eat.  As you stuff yourself, you move up the yin/yang line so at some point if you keep on eating, you are now more yang (full).  In this case, you are also uncomfortable, have an upset stomach and need to lie down.  The body senses this and helps you relieve some of the pressure by ensuring you use the restroom, or by having you throw up.  Once this happens, you relieve some of the excess and move back down to the middle of the yin/yang line.  This example can be used over and over again as a reminder to try to “walk the middle path” and avoid extremes whenever possible in life.

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