While working on an upcoming piece about the meaning of the name “Xingyi,” I found myself retranslating this text on that very subject. It was one of my first translations, & one of the earliest posts here. I hope this new version can prove beneficial.

形意說/Xingyi Shuo – Xingyi Theory

形者,形象也。意者,心意也。
What is “Xing?” It is the physical form. What is “Yi?” It is the Xin‘s intention.

人為萬物之靈,能感通諸事之應,是以心在內,而理周乎物,物在外,而理具於心。
Of the Ten Thousand Things, only humans have “Ling,” which is able to feel & communicate with everything, responding naturally. This is by means of the Xin within understanding surrounding objects. Though the objects are external, the ability to understand is in the Xin.

意者,心之所發也 ; 是故心意成於中,而萬事形於外,內外相感,不外一氣之流行。
What is Yi? It is emitted from the Xin; therefore, when both Xin & Yi are fixed internally, & ten thousand affairs take shape externally, the internal & external mutually affecting each other, is nothing but the flowing of the One Qi.

故達磨祖師本之,而創是拳,其旨在養氣,在益力,動作簡而功用無窮,故名之曰〝形意拳“ 也。
Therefore, the ancestral teacher Da Mo used this as the basis & created this style. Its purpose is to nourish Qi while increasing Li. Its movements are simple, but its functions are endless. Therefore, its name is “Xingyiquan.”

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