yin(1) and yang(2) are words that have made it into our culture. The symbol that is really the TaiJi is often called the yin-yang symbol .

This symbol contains yin and yang, hence the confusion. The ultimate of extremes are the black and white, the full and empty, the day the night, the heat the cold, heaven and earth, sun and moon, and everything else. The supreme ultimate is the interaction of yin and yang. The practice of TaiJi Quan is the experience of this interaction of yin and yang in our bodies and minds.

 

Both characters contain the same radical on the left. This represents a mound or hill. The right hand side of the characters is where we derive our meaning. In the case of yang, we have. This is the sun (upper part) with rays eminating, meaning bright. Together is the idea of the rising sun on the hill. In the case of yin, we have . This a picture of clouds. The top part has to do union and connection, giving the idea of "now." Clouds on the hill is the shady side. So, with yin, we have the dark, feminine, receiving, cool side, and with yang, we have sun and light and warm and expanding.

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