Body Mind Spirit
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Body Mind Spirit

Yin and Yang in Stoicism

Yin and Yang by 20twentyphotos via

As we prepare for a new week, I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the polarities of life, and how you can work on finding Ch’an (Zen) or your center.

Every object has space around it. Let’s take example of the coffee mug that is right here, on the left of my keyboard on my desk.

If it would be only object without space, it would not have a shape or a form.

If it was only space, there would be no object.

If there was too much of the object, then maybe there wouldn’t be space in the middle to put coffee in.

If there was too much of the space, maybe the mug would leak and spill on my computer next to it.

And so a coffee mug must find its center, or its perfect balance between object and space.

It is the same for us, and we should learn from that mug, haha!

If are always asleep, we are not alive. If we are always awake, we will die of fatigue.

If we starve, we die. If we overeat, we also die (be it slower and in more pain)

The Yin and the Yang, the negative pole and the positive pole, is always with us. The balance of both poles is harmony, life, and how nature operates.

You know the + and — signs on a battery? That’s the same. Yin and Yang.

Of course, Yin and Yang is associated to ancient Chinese philosophy, the Tao and so on.

But the Stoics too, spoke of this when they talked about virtues having both a vice of deficiency, and a vice of excess.

Let’s take courage as an example:

Vice of deficiency: You are a coward, unable to take action towards what is right.

Vice of Excess: You are a fool, jumping from a plane without a parachute.

I would like to look around your room, or the space you are in right now, and find one object to observe. Notice its Yin and notice its Yang.

Then, throughout the week, try to observe your actions. Are you in balance?

Find your center, and everything will be easier. Life doesn’t have to be so hard. It just needs to find a balance and a groove.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

PS: We have just closed 31 days of Daily Meditations + contemplations + journaling prompts. Join us today to meditate with me daily! Here is the Link:



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Raphaël Reiter

Raphaël Reiter

Continuously learning about life. Passionate about philosophy. Certified life coach and meditation teacher.