Friday, April 22, 2011

Um and Yang A Way To A Healthy Planet

Um and Yang
A Way To A Healthy Planet
I wanted to take some time today on Earth Day to reflect on the two worlds I live in, the Western and the Eastern.  I have been a marital art practitioner for almost half of my life. While most people think of martial arts as an aggressive sport, I think of it as a peaceful philosophy, a way of life. I often find the balance I need for work as an environmental advocate through my martial art training.  
I have had many teachers through the years, and all of them have stressed to me the importance of Um and Yang, or what many refer to as Yin and Yang.  Um and Yang is balance, which stands for harmony. I am not sure we take enough time in our busy lives to think about this word or meditate on the meaning of Harmony. I see Um and Yang "Harmony" in action every day.  
Today, Master Jang set us through the paces of practicing Um and Yang (we do this every day in class in some form).  However, today I felt a unique connection.  His teachings directly correlated to how I feel as a citizen of planet earth trying to create positive environmental change.  We talked about Um and Yang, not as the Harmony in oneself, but in a balance with someone else.  This could be a co-worker, friend, archenemy or even the earth.  If we move and exchange Um and Yang as a team, with a constant motion of give and take, then we are in harmony. 
 If, however, we both have Um energy and put up our defenses, then there is no movement.  If we both decide to move forward with Yang energy at the same time, then there is clash and conflict. While these are simple lessons that were taught to explain motion between two partners with a very specific exercise, I think this message of harmony can go into all of our daily lessons about the environment.  For the larger picture of the earth, we should learn that we need to give and take in equal proportions to each other.  This natural balance will lead to a harmonious, sustainable relationship.
To learn more about Master Jang 
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