As the year comes to a close / a new start, we often find ourselves entangled in various discussions about the "right and wrong" of health on social platforms. Even relatives who sit across the table have opinions about our lifestyles. At the same time, we carry a load of new year resolutions that often with a high rate of disappointment. The initial purpose is to lighten our burden and boost vitality, but in reality, we might end up absorbing a significant amount of new weight and pressure into our overall well-being.
The Chinese word for "health" implies that on a foundation of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, there must be "space" to maintain stability. To understand the quality of health, one must first comprehend the Middle Way and the principles of Yin and Yang. Many are familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang, especially those born into Chinese cultural backgrounds, but interpretations vary widely. Each family, ancestor, lineage has their own insights, realizations, practices, and methods of health preservation based on the Middle Way.
An ancient scholar once asked their students, "In the Way of the Mean, between Yin and Yang, which character is the most important?" The students of ancient times were no different from present-day students and replied, "Way" (道). The “Way” is formed by combining the characters for "walking", "self", "head" and "pause" in Chinese which represents something that can’t be defined by a single word unless you’ve lived in it. The character "之" means the continuous transformation "between" the changes of Yin Yang.
In this process, the concept is like to the Big Bang in the universe or the division of cells within our bodies— the Way births two, two births three, and three births all things. The equilibrium between the two poles in chaos, and achieving this harmony requires finding the center point. "中" in the Way of the Mean can refer to the middle (as an adjective) but can also mean hitting the center (as a verb). One must aim for the right point within the chaos to achieve Yin Yang harmony. However, since everyone's background, timing, tests, living environment, and mission are different, the point of balance also varies—some may be at 20/80, while others at 40/60.
與宇宙大爆炸或我們體內細胞分裂概念相近 - 道生二、二生三、三生萬物。當中，一生二指出混沌中的兩極互相產生平衡同時需要兩者之間找出中庸。中庸的「中」可指中間（形容詞），但亦解作射中（動詞）。即是要取出平衡便要射中混沌中的一點來作出陰陽平衡，但因每人背境、時機、考驗、生活環境及使命有別，所以平衡點也不同，有的是20/80，有的是40/60。
With that said, when we engage in endless debates, we are essentially living in chaos (changes) of the nature. Other than acquiring knowledge through academics and words, each of us needs to journey through life, pause, use our minds (head) to think, and then find our own balance point in between the changes. What others provide is merely for reference only. That goes back to what a phrase, “Eating together at the same table but each cultivating their own practice” means—there's no need to measure our own "quality of space" with someone else's yardstick.
Of course, this piece of journal is just a reference left by me, an uneducated and humble observer.
Cover photo : charlesdeluvio @ unsplash