Cherchez la femme, and a man
A battle of the sexes goes on not only in the outside world, but is an intrinsic part of our everyday living and being. Unless you, the reader, came from planets other than Earth, Mars, or Venus.
Science is finding hard evidence of the differences between male and female brains, as described in this article from livescience. They found a major distinction in how various parts of the most vital organ connect in young brains of male and female participants of the study.
My teacher Johwa Choi delved deep into the principle of Eum and Yang in TaeGeukDoÂ training for human completion. The female and male characters are referred to as Eum and Yang, respectively. These concepts are much more general and encompassing than our limited notions of female and male, and are not meant to discriminate or suppress any part of the whole.
Emotions are more like female energy Eum, while thinking, mental energy represents Yang. This system constantly regenerates itself â€“ thoughts generate emotions, emotions serve as a backdrop of thoughts. The landscape is changing dramatically or not changing at all depending on a directorâ€™s temperament and his or her ability to refresh the scene.
At times it feels like the system is having a life of its own, and the only way to be free of it is to pass out or go to sleep. Have you ever felt that way? I sure have. In meditation, a common practice it to let the thoughts flow, which in my understanding is solving the yang problem with the eum treatment, being non-judgmental and observing calmly. What should we do about emotions then? It depends. They are much harder to recognize than thoughts. They, too, can be further categorized as positively (yang) or negatively (eum) charged.
My job requires me to use a lot of yang energy, mental energy. It is easy to get engrossed in it, especially when I have to deliver on tight deadlines.Â After a while I lose awareness of my body â€“ sloppy posture, shallow breathing, clouded judgment. I start feeling tension, tiredness, fatigue, lack of energy, and work becomes a burden. My body is sending me the signals; my Eum is saying â€“ donâ€™t forget me, I am here. It urges me to take care of it. I go to a private room and do some stretching, deep breathing, meditation for about 15 minutes. I feel entirely refreshed and ready to take on the next challenges. This is theÂ power of Eum and Yang’s harmonious symbiosis, the heterosexual romance of the mind and body.