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The future can be seen right now. Because the future is made of the present. If you look deeply into the present, you know already what kind of future you'll have.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Ru Men

Introduction

 
I have been working with the Yijing since 1983. In that time it has both enlightened me with its insight and amazed me with its accuracy. As a conversation, its consistency really is startling. My training in Taiji Quan started in earnest a few years after that, in 1986. There is a tremendous depth and subtlety to the physical experience that emerges through repeated engagement with stillness and movement.

Over the years of working with both systems, it has become clear to me that they share the same underlying philosophical foundation: both are built on the theory of yin and yang, and both are concerned with harmonious continuity through change. For those engaged with the symbolic language of the Yijing, the physical practices of Taiji Quan will make the elemental images of Change concrete, and enrich the range of reference for the symbols. For those concerned with the art of movement, the abstract symbols of the Yijing structure and organize the physical practice, providing a descriptive framework for the physical energies. Integrated together, the two arts form a comprehensive system of inner training capable of acting at all levels of being from the physical, through the emotional and intellectual dimensions, to the spiritual.

In the following pages, we first explore the common philosophical foundation of the two systems, and then introduce the specifics of each art in turn.

  1. From Wuji to Yin and Yang
  2. The Symbolic Language of the Yijing
  3. The Physical Art of Taiji Quan

I should be clear that, whilst I have a solid grounding in the traditional aspects of both Taiji Quan and the Yijing, my approach tends to the eclectic. My concern is to relate the practice of both arts to our contemporary experience by incorporating appropriate modern conceptual tools. I believe that such an approach is true to their original spirit; indeed, I believe it is necessary if the arts are to continue to grow and develop.

 

Many thanks for your interest.

Photo Portrait She De
Andreas Schöter
Edinburgh
January 2013

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