treading on the tail of a tiger


 
This hexagram outlines the foundation of proper conduct within ourselves, with those with whom we may have conflicts, and within the larger society. It serves to remind us that no genuine gains can be made unless we are rooted firmly in the principles of the Sage.

An image often associated with this hexagram is that of treading on the tail of a tiger. The “tiger” may be some strong or malevolent force in your own personality, or it may be a particularly volatile individual or situation with which you have to deal. In either case the advice of the I Ching is the same: one avoids the bite of a tiger by treading carefully. To tread carefully means that we remain steadfastly innocent and conscientious in our thoughts and actions. 

It is inevitable that people will display varying levels of spiritual understanding. It is not our duty to condemn or correct others, but simply to go on developing ourselves. Do not imagine that you can hasten your progress through aggressive actions now. Power that is sought and wielded pridefully has a way of evaporating when you need it most, thus exacerbating your difficulties. The only lasting influence is that which arises naturally from a course of steady development.

In the end, it is our inner worth that determines the outer conditions of our lives. Those who resolve to persevere in humility, sincerity, and gentleness can tread anywhere – even on the tail of a tiger – and meet with success.

 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 10, Lü / Treading

 

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tao is beyond words

elsa bleda

 

Tao is beyond words 

and beyond understanding. 

Words may be used to speak of

it, but they cannot

contain it. 

 

Tao existed before

words and names, before heaven and earth,

before the ten thousand things. It is the unlimited

father and mother of all limited things. Therefore, to see

beyond all boundaries to the subtle heart of things, 

dispense with names, with concepts,

with expectations and ambitions

and differences. 

 

Tao and its many manifestations

arise from the same source: subtle wonder

within mysterious darkness. This

is the beginning of all

understanding. 

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 1

 

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This reality

cannot be covered by the skies

or held up by the earth. Space cannot contain it.

It abides within all sentient beings and is the support

on which all of them rest. It has always been

clean and naked. There is nowhere

it does not pervade.

 

Yuanwu

 

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be absorbed in the now

 

The

present moment

is the source of everything.

As long as you have resentments

about the past or ideas about

the future, you cannot

genuinely be in

the present.

 

You owe it

to your future self,

and to the rest of us, to be

completely absorbed here and

now. Make all notions of past

and future a cool pile

of ashes in the

corner.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 30

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