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Meaning of Yin and Yang

--by Masahiro Oko (Aug 20, 2012)


Everything has a right to live.  Everything wants to exist and we have to respect that.  The weaker side in any relationship naturally demands things, because of the need for mutual balance.  War, sickness, unhappiness is imbalance.  You can get sick from either over-eating or under-nourishment; excess yin or excess yang.  Peace, health, happiness, is balance.  The same for justice.  In this restaurant, for example, justice in business exists if the owner can make a living and if you also feel that the price is right.  Both sides of the picture are satisfied and stabilized.
 
Many people don't understand that neither yin nor yang exists by itself.  Yin and yang means communication.  Communication breaks down in two ways.  For example, if I communicate with someone by touching his arm, my hand moves, so it is yang, while his arm is motionless, or yin.  If neither of us moves, or if both of us are in motion, no communication can occur.
 
Its the same thing as dancing.  One partner usually leads, and the other follows.  Both have the right to exist; the leading depends on the following and the following depends on the leading and both recognize that.  That point of it, the communication, is the transfer of energy taking place between the two.  The purpose is not superiority or inferiority of one or the other individual, but the flow between them.  In a ballroom stance, for example, the woman's hand goes on the man's shoulder and the man's hand is on her back.  For a different partner, his hand is higher or lower and the elbows are at different angles.  If we don't understand the most suitable position for our partner-beings in life, war occurs.
 
We must learn the purpose the dance: not playing roles, such as leader and led, for their own sake, but to understand each other.  In this kind of cooperation, the minimum effort gives maximum result.  The basis of peace is not an abstract quality, but cooperation, seeing each other as human beings.  We must recognize our wonderful differences, without discrimination or value judgements.  Discrimination makes war.  For me, the meaning of yin and yang is the power of that respect for everything's nature.
 
--Masahiro Oko


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On Jan 9, 2013 prudhvinarayana wrote:
 Yin and yang means to me, certain balance between genders. weaker side, demands more support, to achieve balance, which is not necessarily fulfilled. The kind of balance, only can be achieved, by people who understand the nature , in its infinite form. Law of Newton is not scientific, it is more human, in its content. It is applied every wherre. Give love, and love will be given.   But several forces, exist in between. An ugly woman, with handsome  man, the couple leades imbalanced life for ever, any kind of adjustment is only possible, only when the more blessed should be loyal to her, sacrificing his temptations, which is not possible in long run. The balance usually, distroyed and rarely acheived. 

On Nov 23, 2012 Tamilyn wrote:
 this is a good assessment :) ...as well as i believe these roles are ever changing depending on the situation sometimes i am led and sometimes i am leading in all my worldly interactions but i found this especially true with loved ones and my children..i find my self more conscious some times of the dance and as i get older and more in tune with myself i am finding a joy in using this to balance when i can .. inner alchemy if u will :) i find the more i practice awareness the less imbalance their is... thank you for sharing !!

On Aug 27, 2012 Vinanti Sarkar Castellarin wrote:
 This is beautiful Masahiro ... I have downloaded your print for my members on VOICES OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE & VOWW-TV - at (see link); - What a lovely voice you possess ... would love to work with you ... VOWW has 800+ members "by invitation only" around 60 countries ... we need strong voices to unit all women, young girls, boys and men who believe in the Yin & Yang of life ... Do join and share your voice with us ... 

On Aug 21, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 What does yin and yang mean to you?……… Yin and yang represent dualities in creation such as active/passive, good/bad, female/male etc that are the source of dynamic evolution. If we focus on only one aspect of duality and ignore the other, we create instability in ourselves and in the environment around us. We need an ‘openness’ or a ‘witness perspective’, to see and accept these qualities in ourselves and in our environment, to optimize our own evolution in a positive direction…..   How do you reconcile "discrimination makes war" with the need to discriminate between that which is wholesome and unwholesome?………… Discrimination can be a creative and exciting aspect of life, if it remains unselfish. Selfishness creates egos and hierarchies that result in self-indulgence and wars. Unselfishness encourages flexibility, love, co-existence and cooperation. Competition will be limited to sport  See full.

 What does yin and yang mean to you?………
Yin and yang represent dualities in creation such as active/passive, good/bad, female/male etc that are the source of dynamic evolution. If we focus on only one aspect of duality and ignore the other, we create instability in ourselves and in the environment around us. We need an ‘openness’ or a ‘witness perspective’, to see and accept these qualities in ourselves and in our environment, to optimize our own evolution in a positive direction…..
 
How do you reconcile "discrimination makes war" with the need to discriminate between that which is wholesome and unwholesome?…………
Discrimination can be a creative and exciting aspect of life, if it remains unselfish. Selfishness creates egos and hierarchies that result in self-indulgence and wars. Unselfishness encourages flexibility, love, co-existence and cooperation. Competition will be limited to sports…..
 
Can you share a personal story where you were able to co-create "this kind of cooperation," where "the minimum effort" gave the "maximum result?"………………
I have been a co-creator of maximum result with minimum effort a few times. Any effort based on love is ‘effortless’ or a ‘minimum effort’ - as in a hobby. This is particularly so in an inspired group effort with an unselfish goal. The ‘Maximum result’ is love, happiness and inspiration that we create within the group and outside. The ‘ material result’ that follow such an unselfish effort is a symbolic reminder of happiness created and an inspiration for others to follow…..
 

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On Aug 21, 2012 Swamy Vigyananand wrote:
It reads OK till the restaurant example, then it gets confused and confusing.

Nature is always balanced, as it has been in evolution; hunters hunting to survive, the hunted producing excess offspring to survive and some species becoming extinct... ALL are in balance.

Balance is a continuing end-point of nature, like white light comprising of the infinite shades of the 3 basic colours (or 7 colours of the rainbow), like the 'dynamic-equilibrium' in celestial bodies (e.g. in our solar system) at any given moment, while the universe is expanding and millions of galaxies are being formed and consumed at the same time!

It is not possible to explain this ongoing 'dynamic-balance' in retrospect by any 'prism' of philosophy,
be it yin-yang, tri-gun (3-virtues: sattwa-raja-tamas) or tri-dosh (3-faults: kafa-pitta-wata) etc.

I think Yin Yang is a nice concept, often needlessly over-interpreted.

On Aug 21, 2012 Swamy Vigyananand wrote:
It reads OK till the restaurant example, then it gets confused and confusing.

Nature is always balanced, as it has been in evolution; hunters hunting to survive, the hunted producing excess offspring to survive and some species becoming extinct... ALL are in balance.

Balance is a continuing end-point of nature, like white light comprising of the infinite shades of the 3 basic colours (or 7 colours of the rainbow), like the 'dynamic-equilibrium' in celestial bodies (e.g. in our solar system) at any given moment, while the universe is expanding and millions of galaxies are being formed and consumed at the same time!

It is not possible to explain this ongoing 'dynamic-balance' in retrospect by any 'prism' of philosophy,
be it yin-yang, tri-gun (3-virtues: sattwa-raja-tamas) or tri-dosh (3-faults: kafa-pitta-wata) etc.

I think Yin Yang is a nice concept, often needlessly over-interpreted.

On Aug 21, 2012 Brendan wrote:
Nice post Masahiro. I wrote a bestselling book called The Yin Yang Complex where I explored the concept of balance tracing it's ancient origins through society, the environment, religion, spirituality, medicine, business and personal relationships. I am fascintated by the idea of balance and how if we can integrate it in any field; environment, personal relationships or business... that we can create success.  My belief is that everyone has masculine and feminine Yang and Yin inside them and that it is in balancing these energies that we complete ourselves. The first chapter of my book is free to download if anyone would like to explore the subject more http://www.brendanfoley.net/free-mediatation/chapter-1-the-yin-yang-complex/ 

Yours in balance,

Brendan Foley

On Aug 21, 2012 Syd wrote:

 The meaning of the yin and the yang is well put.  It seems to me, for there to be any stable relationship, one partner is submissive (normally female) and the other is directional (male)  When both people become directional this creates fighting.  There is also the yin and the yang from within, as my yang is my expectations and my yin is my serenity to the truth.  The truth is I do not want to suffer.  My expectations are meant to keep me from suffering, yet the truth is I never quite meet my expectations so I suffer.  When I feel my guilt, within deep self-consciousness, this is my yang and my yin is accepting the truth with emotional serenity.  Learning to experience life in truth takes a tremendous yin and without my reactive mind speaking a “yea but.”   The weight of my “should” and “ought” is felt and is even felt by everyone: not only should I do this or that so should everyone else.  So i  See full.

 The meaning of the yin and the yang is well put.  It seems to me, for there to be any stable relationship, one partner is submissive (normally female) and the other is directional (male)  When both people become directional this creates fighting.  There is also the yin and the yang from within, as my yang is my expectations and my yin is my serenity to the truth.  The truth is I do not want to suffer.  My expectations are meant to keep me from suffering, yet the truth is I never quite meet my expectations so I suffer.  When I feel my guilt, within deep self-consciousness, this is my yang and my yin is accepting the truth with emotional serenity.  Learning to experience life in truth takes a tremendous yin and without my reactive mind speaking a “yea but.”   The weight of my “should” and “ought” is felt and is even felt by everyone: not only should I do this or that so should everyone else.  So it seems the truth of the yin and yang is from within and is the ability to listen to my guilt without feeling guilty, from obligation to enthusiasm, from constraint to freedom.  Truly war and peace from within is my yin and yang and are the expectations I live with in reference to my suffering.         
 

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On Aug 21, 2012 bob gottlieb wrote:

it is like the balance that is achieved between a horse and its rider when they are in harmony - and as a former horse trainer and school teacher i used the same ideas in both places - it is not the easy way of bullying and intimidation that is the easy way but leaves you with a student that resents the master but learns by force what to do - it is cooperation and suggestion - there are no raised voices or anger and you have to pay attention as the smallest sign of doing what you wish should be rewarded -  if you make it easy for the horse/pupil to do what you want it to do and more difficult for it to do what you don't want it to do you are part way there - this is done in the gentlest way possible but still there is a firmness to the method - if you wish your horse to take your cue to go to the right and it doesn't but goes left or straight instead you make it work, not with vengeance or anger but with the same quiet attitude until it is tired and then try from the begi  See full.

it is like the balance that is achieved between a horse and its rider when they are in harmony - and as a former horse trainer and school teacher i used the same ideas in both places - it is not the easy way of bullying and intimidation that is the easy way but leaves you with a student that resents the master but learns by force what to do - it is cooperation and suggestion - there are no raised voices or anger and you have to pay attention as the smallest sign of doing what you wish should be rewarded - 

if you make it easy for the horse/pupil to do what you want it to do and more difficult for it to do what you don't want it to do you are part way there - this is done in the gentlest way possible but still there is a firmness to the method - if you wish your horse to take your cue to go to the right and it doesn't but goes left or straight instead you make it work, not with vengeance or anger but with the same quiet attitude until it is tired and then try from the beginning again - and when you see it pause and look to the right stop and give it a cue that that is the solution and the easy way - and repeat as many times as necessary always with the same quiet attitude until it learns what is expected and that to do it the suggested way is the easier path and does it - and you make it think that it was it's idea - you have a horse/pupil that learns the correct response yet also thinks that it is their idea you are have a pupil/horse that thinks and is cooperative - 

perhaps a slower method with more work on your part however in the long run a far more satisfactory result with horses/pupils that are doing because they want to with a sense of partnership - 

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On Aug 18, 2012 david doane wrote:
 Yin and Yang means to me that everything is relational.  Nothing is individual or isolated.  Every action takes two or more parties to allow, create, arrange it to happen.  Discrimination doesn't make war.  Discrimination makes discrimination.  War makes war.  War takes two or more parties who are allowing, willing, creating, arranging it.  One hand can't clap; one party can't war.  It takes at least two.  War or peace between my wife and I or between two nations requires both parties making it happen.  The author is correct that neither yin nor yang can exist by itself.  Being aware that an event takes two helps me be more mindful of what I allow, contribute to, and create, and that helps me live more in the way I want to live.     

On Aug 17, 2012 Conrad P. Pritscher wrote:

 Thank you for the opportunity to respond.  As I read Oko, I have mixed feelings (yin and yang). I do believe balance is crucial in every aspect of living.  As an educator who has witnessed coercion in schools and universities for many years, I now believe a strong push is needed to reach balance.  This strong push away from coercion is not necessarily to cooperate with  those coercing.  The coercion and subtle agenda of schools and many universities is to have students learn "obedience to authority."  Balance and cooperation arise between equals when each is their own authority noticing that they share something that is bigger than either.  A small group is now being formed to begin to "throw tea in schooling's harbor."  This may be an attempt to accomplish what throwing tea in the Boston harbor began as a strong stand for freedom to avoid tyranny.  My sense now is that many schools are  so involved with ty  See full.

 Thank you for the opportunity to respond.  As I read Oko, I have mixed feelings (yin and yang). I do believe balance is crucial in every aspect of living.  As an educator who has witnessed coercion in schools and universities for many years, I now believe a strong push is needed to reach balance.  This strong push away from coercion is not necessarily to cooperate with  those coercing.  The coercion and subtle agenda of schools and many universities is to have students learn "obedience to authority."  Balance and cooperation arise between equals when each is their own authority noticing that they share something that is bigger than either.  A small group is now being formed to begin to "throw tea in schooling's harbor."  This may be an attempt to accomplish what throwing tea in the Boston harbor began as a strong stand for freedom to avoid tyranny. 
My sense now is that many schools are  so involved with tyranny, the opposite of freedom, that we now need to move in the direction of allowing students, and almost all levels of schooling, to study what they find to be remarkable, interesting, and important in an non-graded atmosphere.
 As Thomas Jefferson said,, the purpose of schooling is to help each one decide for oneself what will secure or endanger one's freedom. The military industrial complex promoting corporate training as a primary purpose of school avoids education for self direction.  When self direction is not the goal of schooling, students are much less inquisitive, and frequently don't love learning and open inquiry.  I strongly believe in mental stem learning one: "increase the tendency to allow events to happen rather than make them happen."  yet too many teachers and professors cater to the pressure of teaching to the test and simply training. If a balanced Yin and Yang yields cooperative partners, each person must be their own authority yet we have allowed a small group to overly control, not only Wall Street, but also many aspects of our social and economic lives.  Should you agree with what is said here, please write your senators, representatives and school boards about these matters.
Warm kind regards to everyone.

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On Aug 16, 2012 Kokil wrote:
 For me Yin and Yang also means a balance between the Masculine and Feminine. Every human being has both the qualities - that of a provider and a nurturer and that is why its the coming together of both the male and the female for  a new life to be born. If we can bring about a balance of both the energies within us it would assist us in all aspects of our life.