method - what method? the method used in a technique; a method of living our lives; a method of connecting to nature or the universe or a description of the following words/characters.
hard - hard what? hard body; hard mind; hard technique; a reference to a state of mind, being, or the state of our life; is it related to method and soft, method or soft, or the others.
soft - soft what? soft body; soft mind; soft technique; a reference to a state of mind, being, or the state of our life; is it related to method and hard, method or hard, or the others.
Does either hard | soft relate to water since the reference to drinking a liquid and/or spitting the liquid out. Is it symbolic to a way to think, breathe, interact, etc.
drink - could this be in reference to actually consuming the liquid or is it symbolic.
spit - could this be in reference to actually eliminating something from somewhere or is it also symbolic.
Here again we have to find the source and its function in the translation or original writing. This theme seems to be the same through out the entire gokui be it the Chinese characters or the English translations.
How can this be true since drinking may refer to the slow rhythmic consuming of a liquid which the actual act itself is no hard if we think of the other parts of the translation especially when the act of spitting is more of a hard act in the literal view.
Do they want us to think of the two manners in which the act is performed to decide that some balance needs to be achieved or is it so simple that the author does not want us to be bogged down in the comparison as it might translate to practice or life.
Maybe this is why all of them are convoluted in its purpose so we simply have to learn to constantly think and change with the daily life encounters be it in practice or just living our lives.