Dancing With Yin and Yang

The yin and yang make up the colour of our lives.

Yin and yang … the qualities that make us human. As though our lives play out on an immense balance scale – move one way, the scale tips to the left, but move the other, and it swings around to the right.

yinandyang_fondaTwo forces in the universe, one (yin) is the passive, dark and feminine negative force, and one yang the bright and masculine active positive force whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

According to this theory, wise people will detect these forces in the seasons, in their food, and so on, and will regulate their lives accordingly.

yinandyang_hereHot and cold, light and dark, good and bad, sweet and sour, war and peace, acid and alkaline are all opposites – neither absolute -of the same element, separated only by the terms we give them. Hot and cold are the two extremes of temperature brought into balance by our individual desires to be comfortable.  We cannot know heat without having been cold.

Without one we would not know the other. Day becomes night and then night becomes day…Yin and Yang are interdependent upon each other so that the definition of one requires the definition for the other to be complete.

When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other.
– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching [verse 2]

yinandyang_balanced-life-goalsLike a gymnast, cyclist or a surfer riding a wave …  always knees bent maintaining balance; so the balance of yin and yang is never static. This we see in evidence around us every day as things age, day becomes night, etc. One effect of this is that as one aspect increases the other decreases to maintain overall balance of the whole.

All of us have support in our life. Some of us have more support than we know and others have so little support that it is a challenge to make it another day. Our support system creates who we become and sustains who we are.  It may contain many diverse elements such as an education, clean drinking water, exercise and spiritual practice.

A support system with a balance of yin and yang may include loving relationships that provide nurturing without being smothering, clear boundaries without being controlling and the freedom to be ourselves with immediate support when faced with a challenge such as dis-ease.

The strength in yin comes from knowing when to yield, when to preserve and maintain our support systems.  It is flowing with our current relationships, preserving the habitable environments that exist and maintaining the work that sustains us.

The strength in yang comes from knowing when to push, expand and build up our support systems.  It is the drive to build up clear, loving relationships, expand habitable environments and push for work that sustains us.

“The Pentacle – The ancients envisioned their world in two halves – masculine and feminine. Their gods and goddesses worked to keep a balance of power. Yin and Yang. When male and female were balanced, there was harmony in the world. When they were unbalanced there was chaos.” – Dan Brown

yinandyang_Life-quoteYin yang energy in our support system provides us with a continuous circle of change to learn, grow and play from.  Balance is ever changing and we embrace both aspects in our support systems. Yin yang both work naturally together in opposition, not in conflict, rather with unity.

“Buddha always emphasised a balance of wisdom and compassion: a good brain and a good heart should work together … These two must be developed in balance, and when they are, the result is material progress accompanied by good spiritual development. Heart and mind working in harmony will yield a truly peaceful and friendly human family” – The Dalai Lama

The difference between our heart and our mind is that our mind tends to separate, exclude, withhold, judge and discriminate; while our heart wants to keep sharing, joining, extending itself, including and embracing and expressing compassion.

Our heart can frighten us if we neglect it!

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