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In honor of the Winter Solstice of 2013, and of the 4713th year of the Chinese calendar according to the Yellow Emperor.
Tai Chi – Taiji — is it an exercise? A martial art? A moving meditation? OR — is Tai Chi something greater and more profound than exercises, martial arts and moving meditations? Tai Chi (Taiji) is actually a cosmic phenomenon.
The easiest way to express it is this – previous to the world as we know it, the universe was unborn and in a latent state – Primordial Potential in Stillness – Wuji. Previous to the birth of the universe there was no time and no distance in an undifferentiated, supremely potentiated unity – ONEness – Non-Dual – Not Two – Origin.
At the birth of the universe, according to the observation of ancient and contemporary scientists, what we know of as the differentiation of space and time was spontaneously created – widely known as the Big Bang. Before the birth of the universe – Wuji, unity, ONEness. After the birth of the universe — Tai Chi, YinYang, duality.
The Tai Chi Symbol is not Tai Chi — it is a Map of Tai Chi – a map of the nature of things at the moment of the Big Bang and beyond. Tai Chi, the Mind-Body Energetics Practice, is named after that which the map depicts – the world that emerged from the Big Bang, the arising of Tai Chi (Taiji) from Wuji. It is a powerful story which is explored in detail in The Healing Promise of Qi.
The Yin, darker, cooler, denser aspect of the duality of night and day, dark and light, winter and summer is depicted by the black territory of the Map. The Yang, lighter, warmer, more expansive aspect of duality is depicted by the white territory of the Tai Chi Map. These components of our world, and their expression in nature, are the source, according to a recent research article from China, for the Tai Chi diagram. See the abstract below.
The most obvious manifestation of this is the curved line that passes through the Tai Chi Map dividing the Yin and the Yang. This is a direct expression of the curve of the length of days and the rise and fall in average temperatures as the seasons pass from the Winter Solstice to the Summer Solstice. This diagram — Tai Chi of the Seasons — shows this and implies that the curved line has its own Tai Chi (opposite) which creates an infinity symbol. Is the infinity symbol representative of one cycle — one year? Probably not, more likely it is representative of a pattern that is eternal. This of course suggests that it is not just a local pattern but an archetypal or universal pattern.
Is it posible that, at the deeper levels of Tai Chi practice there is a connection with the pattern of our solar and cosmic nature that then creates a “portal” to our infinite being? Those who practice Tai Chi in such a way as to have touched the deeper potentials that it offers often talk and act like they have made contact with something very special in themselves and in the nature of things. It appears that as we move into the 4713th year of the Chinese calendar of the Yellow Emperor, Tai Chi is a “portal” — not only to greater health and peace of mind, also to a greater understanding of the our lives and our connection to our ancient, ancient origin at the moment of the birth of the universe of duality and form and even beyond to our connection with the primordial, timeless, boundless, formless.
The relationship between the Sun, the Months and the Tai Chi Map
Two of my favorite sources have brought this amazing article to my attention. 1 – Tom Rogers, esteemed IIQTC Graduate, who is currently the President of the Qigong Institute referenced this article. 2 – my favorite city in China, Hang Zhou (near Tai Zhou) — capital of the Song (Sung) Dynasty Imperial Court and the nexus of Inner Alchemy in 1000 CE.
Construction principle of the Taiji diagram is based on the observation of 24 solar terms.
Zhonghua Yi Shi Za Zhi. 2011 Jul;41(4):195-9.
Meteorological Bureau of Taizhou, Zhejiang, 318000, China.
The Taiji diagram is a common diagram in ancient Chinese works and medical works, but it’s not known yet how it was made. Key evidence has been found in the data of astronomical observation in Han Dynasty. It was found that variation characteristics of the curve of the lengths between days and nights are in accordance with the S-curve of the Taiji diagram. The theory contained in the Taiji diagram could also be illustrated well by this curve. In conclusion: the Taiji diagram was made according to the diurnal rhythm in a year, which was obtained from observation of 24 solar terms in ancient times. As a great scientific achievement in ancient China, the Taiji diagram has profound influence and should be reevaluated on an academic level.
National Library of Medicine
Med-Line Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22169483