17 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
A new Chinese Year and a new format. The focus will be on meridians and their themes according to the body.
31 Jan 2017 Leave a comment
Once again another Chinese Year! It does feel like spring, in this part of the hemisphere, as the Chinese New Year, all ways starts with the beginnings of spring weather. It is the time to embrace the Yuan, as they say the original creative, for very soon, the seeds of yesteryear will begin to start sprouting. SO, embrace your creative side, your Yuan qi, source qi, and begin cultivating. This is when all your New Year’s resolutions should take hold toward your endeavors for a better self, life style, or frame of mind.
This Year is the Year of the Yin fire Rooster.
The Yin fire is like the embers the root of the flame. It is supportive warmth and generative heat.
The Rooster, is a sacrificial time teller. It crows at dawn and dusk. It shows the change of yin to yang, and that of yang to yin. It is the change of activity from sleep to work, from work to rest. What is potentiated is recharged and stored for later. It is funny how the character for 酉, the rooster is a sacrificial flask, usually for a libation a toast to a job well done, or the tupper-ware for another meal.
04 Jan 2017 Leave a comment
This is a speech written by Taiwanese Sinologist Ying Shih Yu
The heart is the most important thing to the Chinese, and therefore you should
cultivate your heart. The heart should be cultivated so that it is clean. Only if the
heart is clean can a pure society emerge; if the heart has become dirty and gone bad,
then the whole society will go bad. This is not idealism; this is to talk about the
importance of the heart. Instead of being completely determined by material
conditions and social identity, the human spirits exert a strong influence on material
conditions as well. If you want everyone to lead a good life, then, as the Chinese
saying goes, “Do not impose on others what you do not desire yourself.” The reason
why Confucius and Confucian classics said this is that people should compare their
own hearts with others’ hearts. “Other people have the heart, and we should
conjecture it.” If I think about how others’ heart would be and compare it with my
own heart, I would not do certain things. That is why the Chinese believe the heart is
Why should Chinese culture talk emphatically about the heart? This is because,
according to the Chinese, the heart is equivalent to a kind of god, which is very
changeable and all-inclusive. Therefore, some philosophers, such as Lu Xiangshan
and Wang Yangming, said: My heart is the universe; the universe is my heart. This is
not idealism. Instead, it argues that if we want to build up a human society, in which
everyone leads a happy life, we need to expand our heart, rather than employ a selfish
heart. The selfish heart should have its limit. This limit is not to interfere with the
Zi Chan in the Spring and Autumn period said: Human hearts differ with their
unique faces. That is, the Chinese also affirm the individual heart. However, there
also exists a big collective heart operating at the same time. In this way, we will not
be subject to the so-called absolute collectivism, nor will we be subject to absolute
individualism. We should try to find a point of balance between the individual and the
collective. The function of finding this point of balance comes from the heart. Zhang
Zai in the eleventh-century Song dynasty wrote an essay titled “Enlarging the Heart,”
that is, one should try to enlarge one’s heart. For instance, Zhuangzi in the Warring
States period said: The heaven and earth and ten thousand things are all one with me.
The Chinese often talk about heaven and man being one, and this also means that the
heart should be expanded.
On the one hand, one should not give up one’s own unique heart, and on the
other hand, one should enlarge one’s heart so as to think of others. Only in this way
can we lead a better, and more orderly, life. This is because the Chinese do not very
much believe that there is an after-life heaven and especially they, influenced by
Confucianism, believe that this world is a true and real one. We should treasure and
value it. If we treasure and value it, our heaven lies in this world, so does our hell.
This is one view of the Chinese.
Mencius wrote the essay titled Cleaning the Heart, which argues, as we all know,
that if we know our own nature, we know the heaven. Zhuangzi said, the heart should
be empty; only after the heart is empty can the Dao “Way” enter into it. As Mencius
said, “Everyone has the heart of compassion.” In “Benevolence, Rightness, Propriety,
Wisdom,” “Benevolence” refers to the heart that is most critical to humans. Here,
“Benevolence” means “love people,” love other people; not only love yourself, but
also love others. That is why, when Mencius talked about “heart,” he would always
talk about “push”: people should push their own heart, and the more they push it, the
bigger it will become, and the further it will reach, so that it will include the whole
society. People like Hui Shi and Zhuang Zhou would push it even further; their heart
would become so big that they would love the heaven and earth and ten thousand
This is the reason why the Chinese people’s heart is so important. It has become
the heart that everyone possesses. It is a special tradition in Chinese thought. Under
this tradition in China, there is no organized religion, and there is no tradition of
church as organized and centralized as in the West. Something akin to the supreme
commanding by the Roman Pope during the Middle Ages has never happened in
China. Among the Chinese, everyone is a heart, and everyone’s heart is connectable
with the heaven. But you have to cultivate your heart. If you do not cultivate it, your
heart will become smaller and smaller, and more and more selfish. Then, the society
will be in turmoil.
For this reason, I believe, when we talk about the issue of values, the issue of
spiritual values, in China, we must trace it to the heart. It is almost as important as
the concept of God in the West; it is indispensable. Once it is lost, humans are not
different from animals. Therefore, in China, it has always been asserted that one
should cleanse one’s heart. In the past one hundred years in China, I think, the heart
has become a big problem because we no longer believe in ancient Chinese thought,
having lost the Chinese heritage, whereas we cannot believe in the Western God
either. Thus, our heart has lost its locus. Everyone’s heart has almost been seduced
by material profits. … Under such circumstances, the Heart of China has been lost.
The loss of the Heart is one of the biggest keys to the crises of Chinese culture in the
past one hundred years.
I raise the issue of the heart to you all so that you can think it over. This is what I
want to address for the New Year.
Ying Shih Yu 2005