Come all Yi faithful
Sunday I heard the word Yi which is something that is missing from my Kung Fu moves. The word was described as intent. This word stuck in my head, after three hours of practice, this was the word that resonated in my head over and over again. It struck a cord, and it has been something I have been thinking about a lot this week.
So what does YI mean? According to Wikipedia “Yi, literally “justice, righteousness; meaning, is an important concept in Confucianism. It involves a moral disposition to do good, and also the intuition and sensibility to do so competently.
“Yi resonates with Confucian philosophy’s orientation towards the cultivation of benevolence (ren) and skillful practice (li).
“Yi represents moral acumen which goes beyond simple rule following, and involves a balanced understanding of a situation, and the ‘creative insights’ necessary to apply virtues “with no loss of sight of the total good. Yi represents this ideal of totality as well as a decision-generating ability to apply a virtue properly and appropriately in a situation.”
In application, yi is a ‘complex principle’ which includes:
- skill in crafting actions which have moral fitness according to a given concrete situation
- the wise recognition of such fitness
- the intrinsic satisfaction that comes from that recognition”
I could hear my Instructor repeating ‘without Yi there is no Chi’ which also rhymes.
I guess in Western martial terms it would equate to a sort of eye of the tiger, a state of mind which generates the action with intent, being in the zone, a thought-through action and expectation of results.
Then reflecting on my year, I felt the overwhelming sensation that I had lacked Yi in all aspects of my life. I had not been leading life with intent, I had lost my way I had lost ability to apply a virtue properly and appropriately, I had lost sight of the total good.
This week I have tried to live the life of Yi! And the results appear to be instant and gratifying, I am trying to apply yi to everything I do. I’m trying to do everything with intent. It is not easy but with focus it is something I am aspiring to.