第七十七章 天道— 平衡
The Dao of the Heaven,
is it just like drawing a bow?
The high is lowered,
and the low is raised higher.
Reduce what has excess,
and add it to what is lacking.
Take away from those who have excess, give to those who are lacking.
The Dao of Heaven,
always takes away from excess and gives it to those are lacking.
(However), the Dao of humans is not the same,
take away from those who are lacking to give those who already have excess.
Who is able to offer his surplus to the world? Only those who have the Dao.
Thus, sages do things without conceit, achieve the goal claiming no credit.
They do not wish to display their superiority.
The Dao of heaven (Nature) is just like drawing a bow. The goal of drawing the bow is to hit the target. You must raise and lower the bow as necessary. Without the correct angle and adequate strength, you will not be able to hit the target. A high-power bow, moreover, requires a strong string while a weaker bow requires a less strong string to work properly. Yan, Jun-Ping (嚴君平) said: “The use of a bow relies on its harmonization. If the string is too tense and urgent, then loosen it up; when the string is too loose and relaxed, then tense it up. What is too much, reduce it to lower it and what is too little, add to raise it. When the string and the bow are mutually balanced, the harmony between them can be achieved. Therefore, the bow can be used and the arrow can be shot.”1 Du, Guang-Ting (杜光庭) also said:
“The use of a bow should be decided by the bow’s material and also the adequacy of string’s tension and loosening. When you shoot, if it is too high, lower it, and when it is too low, raise it up. This is decided by the target. Too much, reduce it and too little, add it. This decides the distance of the shooting, and then the target can be hit. The Dao of heaven is the same. Every day and month passes so the winter and summer come and go. When it comes, it reduces its excess and when it goes, it adds it to its deficiency. In this way, the yearly cycle is completed. A ruler should follow this Dao of heaven, suppressing the strong and helping the weak. Reduce who has excess and sup- port those who have nothing. Thus, move surplus to the deficient. This is for the balance of the distribution.”2
However, most wealthy humans are greedy and unwilling to share with the poor. Only sages, when they have surplus, share with others without hesitation. It is the same for a wise ruler: though he is wealthy, he still saves and conserves his wealth so he can share his wealth with the people. We, Cheng (吳澄) said: “Those rulers who have the Dao, though noble as an emperor and rich with the four seas, are not proud of themselves for their grandeur and wealth; eat simple food, are sick of luxurious clothes, make humble their palace, and save the money for the world without wasting it. Systematize and divide the land with the people, teach them how to grow plants, and charge low taxes, so the people have enough for their living. This is the case of offering his excess to the world.”3
Those sages or rulers who have the Dao conduct their actions without conceit and achieve their goals without claiming credit. They remain humble without displaying their superiority. When this happens, they will eventually earn good repute and credit without asking for it. They will also receive recognition of their superiority without demanding it. In the book, Shang Shu (《尚書.大禹謨》), it is said: “Only if you don’t show off your superiority, will the people of the world not strive with you for superiority. Only if you don’t flaunt yourself, will the people not contend with your achievement.”4 Wang, Li (王力) also said: “Those who are in the top position often greedily think the achievements of heaven (i.e., Nature) are their achievements. Since they believe they have accomplished such an achievement, they should be the masters of the people. This is because they feel arrogant, but actually, we can see that they are small. Lao Zi said: ‘Those sages do not want their superiority to be seen.’ It is also because they don’t want to be seen that their nobility is seen by itself.”5
This chapter has pointed out two important qigong training concepts. The first is that yin and yang must be balanced and harmonious with each other in your practice. For example, practicing a lot of physical qigong will usually raise up your body’s energy status, called li (fire) (離). When this happens, your body will become more energized and hot. This makes your body more yang. This training is called “charging” or “nourishing” (bu, 補). This is to build up the qi potential difference.
However, after physical exercises, you should relax your mind and physical body with deep breathing. This will allow the qi to circulate and distribute the built-up qi to the entire body. When this happens, the body begins to cool down and is considered as kan (water) (坎). This will make your body more yin and finally, yin and yang will balance each other.
It is the same for muscle/tendon changing and brain/marrow washing qigong. Muscle/tendon changing makes your body more yang while brain/marrow washing makes you more yin. If you train only muscle/ tendon changing without training brain/marrow washing, you may experience the body becoming too yang and cause “energy dispersion” (san gong, 散功).
The second concept this chapter has pointed out is the importance of your mind. Too much ego or expectation can only make the qi’s circulation become more imbalanced or chaotic. Your mind is the king or ruler of the body (kingdom) and the qi represents the people. The mind must be gentle, kind, open, and in a neutral state. Only then, will the mind have a correct feeling so the excess qi can be led to those areas where the qi is deficient. For example, if there is too much qi trapped in your upper body, such as the head, this can trigger high blood pressure or a headache. If your mind is able to feel this imbalance and lead the excess qi from the top to the lower part of your body, the heartbeat will slow down, and the blood pressure and headache can be regulated.
The mind and its ability to lead the qi is yin while the expressed action (manifestation of yin) is yang. This yin and yang should be balanced. This is the natural law. If imbalanced, problems can occur. The best way of dealing with imbalance is providing the right conditions and environment to allow the qi to regain its balance. You should keep your mind humble with a high level of awareness so you can see the possible problem. Too much ego will cause the disorder in the qi.
- 嚴君平說:“夫弓之為用也，必在調和。弦高急者，寬而緩之;弦弛下者，攝而上之;其有餘者，削而損 之;其有不足者，補而益之。弦質相任，調和而常，故可用而矢可行。”
- 杜光庭說:“夫弓之為用，當合材定體，弛張調利。高者抑之，下者舉之者，為架箭之時准的也。有餘者 損之，不足者與之，為發矢之時近遠也。如此則能命中矣。天道亦然。日月寒暑，一往一來。來者損其有 餘，往者與其不足，則成歲功矣。人君者當法于天道，抑強扶弱，損有利無，故舉虧盈益謙，欲令稱物平 施爾。”
The above is an excerpt from The Dao De Jing: A Qigong Interpretation Lao Tzu, Translation and Commentary by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Publication Date 2018, YMAA Publication Center, ISBN: 9781594396199