Understanding Of I-Ching And Tai Chi In Relation
To Our Lives
Article contributed by: C. Guan Soo, Tai Chi Practitioner - www.taichiexerciseforhealth.com
Tai Chi, The Great Ultimate, was found earliest in the Book of
Change, or otherwise known as I-Ching. Legend said that this scripture
has written by the first emperor of the Zhou Dynasty - Zhou Wen
Wang. Thus I-Ching is also known as Zhou-Yi.
or the Book of Change, with its name implies, stated that life
is in constant flux of change. The word I (Yi
in pinyin) means
'change' in Chinese. It is formed from the characters of the
sun and the moon, which represents yang and yin respectively.
has a verse stating, "Changes has the Great Ultimate, which
give rise to the Two Elements. The Two Elements give rise to
the Four Phenomena, and the Four Phenomena give rise to the Eight
begin with the word Tai Chi – the Great Ultimate.
It actually means the earliest, the beginning... of all events
and things. In some case, it refers to the Universe by ancient
one of the scripture, it stated that "One yin and one yang
is the Way..." This means that the all changes of events
and things in the universe come from this opposing, yet united
of yin and yang.
is why in from Tai Chi, there arises in the Two Elements
- yin and yang. Take a look at the Tai
Chi diagram, which
known as the 2-Fishes diagram in Chinese. It is a circle
divided into 2 sections in proportion. The circle is representing
Chi, or the Universe Whole, and within this wholeness,
the Two Elements.
division of the yin and yang in Tai Chi means that there are
2 opposing elements, represented by the black section
section respectively. Yet, the division is not a straight
division, but a curved division – meaning that the
2 opposing elements actually accommodate each other in
order to form the complete circle.
this means that while it is divided as opposing elements – it
is united in a way to form the complete wholeness. The
opposing yet united forces of yin and yang became the basis of
in I-Ching. And Tai Chi uses the concepts in the I-Ching,
the yin and yang elements as the core concepts to explain the
and meta-physical aspects of the world.
the curved division gives a sense of balance. Here, we are talking
about balancing the yin and yang
elements here. There's
this statement in I-Ching: "When the yin goes
to the extreme, the yang is born. And when the yang
goes to the extreme, the yin
at the 2-fishes diagram again. If you go in counter-clock wise
along the diameter of the Tai Chi circle, you
will find that as one element grows more and more
elements will begin to grow in replacement. For example,
if you move along the diameter on the black side,
you will see
the ‘half’ represented
by the black will become bigger and bigger and then
suddenly shrink and the white ‘half’ will
begin to grow instead. This means that if one element
goes to the extreme, the other will begin
to set in.
does this mean to us then?
Simple: we have to balance our life in every aspect,
and do not just focus only on one or a few. We
have to balance
and personal life, between family and friends,
between material and spiritual, and the list goes on. Otherwise,
be disharmony in our lives.
the movement growing or shrinking of the yin and yang elements
within the Tai Chi diagram
constantly to and from between good and bad,
joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness, high and low
This is the dualistic principles in I-Ching.
any events or things, there are two qualities within. There's
no such thing as complete good
bad things. It
is the degree of good, or bad that matters.
for example, can we say that a person is good because there's
no bad quality in him,
or a person
is bad because
he or she have
never done any 'good' at all??? A good person
may at times been guilty of small bad deeds,
some good in him or her. Isn't it?
good thing may have some negative side in it. And vice versa,
a bad thing may have
It depends on
how we perceive the issue. That’s the
dualistic principles in I-Ching.
goes to the next concepts. In the diagram, within each element,
there's a dot in it.
The black section
has a white
the white section has a black dot. What
does this means? We move now
to the next statement: The Two Elements
give rise to the Four Phenomena. This means, in
the yin element,
vice versa, in the yang element, there
will be yin element.
does it means to us?
In any events or things, there will be
some good in the bad, and some bad in
yin in the
some yang in the yin. For example, when
a person wins
a race, others will lose the race. There's
bad news within the good
sorrow amongst joy, there's losing among
winning and so
life, there will be mixtures of good and bad, joy and sorrow,
and low, and
it all come in a 'package'!
we should learn to be more give and take - and accept the nature
as it is.
the bad one bravely and gracefully.
This will then help us to achieve
a more balance
Chi's concepts of yin and yang became influential to the ancient
found its way into
the philosophy, theories,
art of war, religion, arts and
the way of maintaining life.
It has found its way into Daoism,
which in some ways, people claimed
that Tai Chi is under the idea
which is not quite true. It should
be the other way
it is, understanding the principles of I-Ching does help
us to understand
the nature of
manage our ups and downs to face
our daily chores and challenges.
wish all of
in your life.
the Energy of Tai Chi be with you!
understand more about the ancient practice of Tai-Chi, please check
this interesting Tai
us for further information.