Hexagram 52 ☯️ Ken / Mountain


Still your emotions through meditation.

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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step back from conventional perceptions



must constantly step

back from conventional perceptions and

worldly entanglements to move along on your own

and reflect with independent awareness. Cleanse and purify

your karma of mind, body, and mouth, sit upright

and  investigate reality, until you arrive

at subtle insight and clear




in your own life,

detach from conditioned views and cut off

sentiments. Stand like a wall a mile high…spend twenty

or thirty years doing dispassionate and tranquil meditation

work, sweeping away any conditioned knowledge and

interpretive understanding as soon as it arises,

and not letting the traces of the

sweeping itself remain




fame and fortune are shallow and injurious


People yearn 

for fame and fortune, 

but this is like aching to taste the

point of a weapon. These are shallow, 

confusing, empty of virtue — yet 

people become fixed on them 

and lose their way 



Look closely 

at things that shine 

without substance. Fame 

enflames one’s idea of self and 

separates one from humanity. Touched 

by it, people grasp desperately to 

get and keep it. What is the 

wisdom, though, 

in resisting 




is a lover similarly 

impossible to satisfy. 

Constantly demanding energy 

and attention, fencing off people’s 

hearts, it returns less and less to 

the soul. Yet common people 

contort themselves 

into cripples 





the injury 

built into these, 

and let them 

go by.


Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 32

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can now buy

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