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Pure Yang Mudra, part I
We cannot explore the symbolic meaning of a mudra without its soil, the cultural background. Understanding classical Chinese culture can help us appreciate the deeper symbolic meanings and see how a mudra is related to the ancient classics. As I mentioned earlier, classical Chinese culture is a qi culture. According to classical Chinese philosophy, qi is the most basic and important material in the universe. Qi is the original energy of the universe and follows the laws of the cosmos as it cycles between its tangible and intangible forms. Its expression in the sky is found in the stars and their movement. In the earth, it is found in the mountains, oceans, air, and in all forms of life. For human beings, qi manifests as the physical body and the processes of the mind. The animating energy connects us with the cosmos. Since the concept of qi pervades the culture, it is related to all aspects of Chinese culture and life sciences, including cosmology, philosophy, medicine, music, calligraphy, painting, martial arts, and Qigong.