Creation - a black and white flower mandala


Made from an Oriental Lily, this white flower mandala looks like Creation. Light springs from the blackness of the void, calling to mind the Chinese creation story. Wu Chi (pure potential, the infinite) moves,  giving rise to the Two (yin and yang/tai chi), which in turn gives birth to the Ten Thousand things.

When I was first learning Ch’ang-Shih Tai-Chi Ch’uan, I read this story in Grandmaster Frank DeMaria’s book by the same name. It’s a wonderfully helpful book, and one of the few on Chang Style Tai-Chi.  He’s told it so beautifully. I’d like to share his version here:


Before the universe was created, there was nothing at all. It was unnameable and beyond description. There was no heaven, no earth, no sound, no smell, no color, no appearance. It was in a state of chaos. It is called Wu Chi. Literally, it means “No Limit”, or “Ultimate of Non-Being”. It may also be taken to mean “Absolute Infinity”, or “The Infinite”.

Wu Chi is the subtle origin of truth, the source of all creation, the fountain of all lives, the root of the universe and the mother of myriad things, therefore we call it “Tao”, the “Absolute Way”.


Wu Chi is the substance of Tai Chi. When Wu Chi moved it became Tai Chi. So Tai Chi is the function of Wu Chi.

In the Song Dynasty, the philosopher Chou Tun-I (1017-1073 A.D.) designed a diagram to represent Tai Chi in an ingenious way. That is, with a circle (circle) to represent Wu Chi in the state of calmness. When it starts to move, then Wu Chi becomes Tai Chi. The circle was divided into two equal parts by a wavy line (taiji). So Tai Chi is the integration of Liang I (Yin-Yang) and the mother of heaven and earth.

~ From Ch’ang –Shih Tai-Chi Ch’aun: The Ultimate in Health and Self-Defense by Frank DeMaria

Many thanks to the Mind Body Spirit Odyssey for recently featuring this mandala, and others, in their fascinating articles on The Magic of Color Vibration.

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