YIN-YANG BALANCE IN LIFE
Recently, I watched a video about a Taoist master. He commented about yin yang balance in life, saying it was OK to be angry, upset, sad, or furious as long as it was moderate. Similarly we should not be too happy to the extreme, because we needed to find the balance of yin yang.
Sifu, I thought we should be happy all the time and avoid negative thoughts like being sad or worried. In my many years practicing and learning chi kung from Sifu, I have discovered that our mind is extremely powerful and we must avoid negative thoughts because they could bring harm to ourselves. I conclude that may be this master’s comment is only applicable to ordinary people that never learn high level chi kung.
— Dr Foong, Holistic Health Cultivation Centre, Malaysia
He is a well known chi kung master. But his views of chi kung and mine are quite different. In my opinion, it is normally not good to be angry, upset, sad, or furious. His concept of yin-yang harmony is flawed. He thinks, which is wrong to me, that it is alright to be angry, upset, sad and furious so long as the negative emotion is moderate. My view is that it is not alright to have negative emotions, i.e. emotions that are harmful.
In this context, yin does not refer to a moderate negative emotion. It refers to an emotion that is harmful. In other words, if a person is angry, upset, sad or furious, and if that emotion is harmful, it is represented by yin. He can overcome the negative emotion, thus attaining yin-yang harmony, by eliminating it, or by having the corresponding positive emotion, which is being peaceful, satisfied, happy or composed.
If being angry, upset, sad or furious is a positive emotion, it is represented by yang. How does being angry, upset, sad or furious become a positive emotion?
Being angry and being furious are similar. If a person is excessively joyful, which is a case of yin-yang disharmony, he can overcome the disharmony by being angry or furious. In this case being angry and being furious become positive emotions.
If a person is excessively sad, he can overcome the disharmony by being upset. If a person is excessively fearful, he can overcome the disharmony by being sad.
Hence, being angry, upset, sad or furious can be positive emotions. They overcome excessive joy, excessive sadness and excessive fear, thus maintaining yin-yang harmony.
Anything excessive is harmful. If a person is too happy to the extreme, his excessive happiness is represented by yin. To attain yin-yang harmony, he can reduce his excessive happiness, or he becomes angry or furious.
You are right to say that our mind is extremely powerful. We must avoid negative thoughts, i.e. thoughts that are harmful to us. If being excessively happy is harmful, we should avoid being excessively happy.
It is the same as over-training. When a person over-trains, i.e. his benefits are too many or too much for his physical body to bear, he should reduce the benefits.
In my opinion, this master’s comment is applicable not just to ordinary people who never learn high level chi kung. His comment applies to all people irrespective of whether they learn any chi kung.
The above is taken from Question 6 October 2019 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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