The photo on the previous page, although without conscience intent at the time, captures the pattern of the Yin-Yang symbol shown above.
The concept of Yin and Yang comes from ancient Chinese Taoist thought which describes the continuous process of natural change in the universe. The symbol represents complementary opposites, the Yin and the Yang. Yin originally meant "the shady side of the slope". Yang meant "the sunny side of the slope". Yin is associated with the qualities of darkness, cold, interior, inwardness, passivity, receptivity. Yang is associated with the qualities of light, heat, exterior, outwardness, activity, movement. These lists can go on extensively.
The symbol itself contains a circle which represents the "whole". It is divided into halves of white (Yang) and black (Yin). The small black circle within the white Yang indicates that Yin is contained within Yang. The white circle within the black Yin indicates that Yang is contained within Yin. The curves along the line between Yin and Yang indicate the continuous merging of the two.
The following principals are held:
All things have two facets, Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang are interdependent. One cannot exist without the other. Yin creates Yang, Yang creates Yin.
Any Yin aspect can be further divided into both Yin and Yang. Any Yang aspect can likewise be divided into Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang control each other. When Yin increases, Yang decreases and vice versa. Yin and Yang continuously balance each other.
Health is a balance or harmony between Yin and Yang.
The picture on the previous page, and below, was taken at Custer State Park, South Dakota, August 2002. For the story behind the picture read on.
In 2002 I made a life-changing decision to change not only my career but the direction and purpose of my life. I left a corporate job I had held for 31 years and set out to become a Massage Therapist and an Ortho-Bionomy practitioner. One week before I started massage school I went, along with my wife, on a vacation to the Black Hills. Among the pictures I brought back was the one above of the semi-wild donkeys at Custer State Park. They would frequently stop traffic by hanging around the road where passers-by would collect.
It was eight months later, while attending a Traditional Chinese Medicine class that I felt compelled to revisit the photo, this time discovering it was a near-perfect representation of the Yin Yang symbol. Not only do the animals line up into the proper shape but the small circles do as well. The black circle within the larger white section, and vice-versa, are represented by the donkey’s noses.
Coincidence? Or is this a metaphorical image for contemplation?
Since I was about to embark on a journey, in this case massage school, that served to refocus my awareness on wellness and balance in life, it’s hard not to see this as a harbinger, these two animals announcing, in their own way, what was to come.
When we look with different eyes it’s amazing what we will see.