Tai Chi -太极 – Tàijí
It is unsure that the art of Tai Chi was named like that in the origin. The Chinese characters 太 Tai and 极 Chi means something like : “Supreme” or “Ultimate”.. The two words have a close meaning and can be just understood like a redundancy in order to define what is “greater than great” or what is beyond the greatest limit. In mathematics, what is always beyond the limit wherever you put that limit defines the concept of “infinity”. It may be one of the many interpretation of the original word Tai Chi. Whatever the sense of “Tai Chi” is, what may be useful to notice from it, is that the ancient Chinese people place the original art of Tai Chi beyond a simple martial arts of gymnastic activities, which is closer to his nowadays definition in general culture..
Tao – 道 – dào
Chinese language often shows a direction where to seek the meaning of a word or a concept, it does it impose a clear, but limited definition.. 道 Dao or Tao refers to the idea of the way. What at first sight does not mean much. With another viewing angle, it is also perhaps how the ancient Chinese sages defined what could not be defined or named. The Taoist a certain point of view, can be interpreted as the study of « Everything » and « Nothing », the nature of what is visible and invisible. Observing the changes of harmony, the duality of Yin / Yang principles (Female / Male), the perfect or unstable equilibrium material or immaterial phenomena, ect ..
In practice, the Taoist emphase a return to the Natural Order, not in opposition to civilization and modernity, but for a better connection of what are the basic nature of man. Unlike the image of the wise man lost in his Mountain, it does not ask those who cultivate it to go isolat themself away from men to look for inner peace. I contrary, it invite to find the extraordinary of the Way in our daily life and what looks ordinary. Everyone is free to cultivate the Tao, the way of harmony, in our urban or rural lives, with ourself or with others, in our work or leisure time, in our Tai Chi ect ..