make an offering of stillness

wei wu wei


Still your emotions through


Receiving this hexagram is a sign that you need to quiet your emotions so that you can think clearly. To answer the clamorings of the ego with action now is to invite misfortune. The I Ching counsels non action and the stilling of the emotions through meditation.

It is the nature of having a body to have strong feelings and impulses. However, if we allow our thinking to be controlled by them, we cannot act with the gentleness, neutrality, and graceful wisdom of the Sage. Instead, we move rashly when we ought to keep still, or we solidify when we ought to remain fluid. Therefore it is necessary to quiet the body and its inferior elements so that our thoughts and actions may be clear and balanced.

Three things are advised. First, sit quietly in a self-supporting position with your back straight and eyes closed. Second, observe the flow of your bodily emotions. Do not judge or resist them; the simple practice of watching them come, linger, and go without acting on them allows you to gradually separate them from your thought processes. Third, turn your inner conflicts over to the Deity for resolution.

The help of the Higher Power is only made available to those who ask for it in a disciplined way, who make an offering of their stillness and mindfulness. Through meditation we reduce the influence of the inferior elements and make it possible for the Sage to assist us. Keep still as a mountain now and you will be rewarded with good fortune.

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 52, Ken / Mountain


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