hexagram 29 ☯️ k’an / water

pham huy trung

 

Flow like pure water

through difficult situations.

 

The image of the hexagram K’an is that of water: water falling from the heavens, water coursing over the earth in streams, water collecting itself in pure and silent pools. This image is meant to teach us how to conduct ourselves in trying situations. If we flow through them, staying true to what is pure and innocent in ourselves, we escape danger and reach a place of quiet refuge and good fortune beyond.

K’an often appears to warn of a troubling time either drawing near or already at hand, and to counsel you not to fall into longing for an immediate and effortless solution to the trouble. When you become “emotionally ambitious” – when you cling to comfort and desire to be free of the currents of change in life – you block the Creative from resolving difficulties in your favor. What is necessary now is to accept the situation, to flow with it like water, to remain innocent and pure and sincere while the Higher Power works out a solution.

It is not that you should not act now; it is that you should not act out of frustration, anxiety, despair, or a desire to escape the situation. Instead, still yourself and look for the lesson hidden inside the difficulty. Correct your attitude until it is open, detached, and unstructured. Abandon your goals and stay on the path, where you proceed step by step, arm in arm, with the Sage.

Those whose hearts and minds are kept pure and innocent relate properly to all events, understand their cosmic meaning, and flow through them with the strength, clarity, and brilliance of pure water.

 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 29, K’an / The Abysmal (Water)

 

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look it in the eye


 

Buddhism

advises you not to implant

feelings that you don’t really have or avoid

feelings that you do have. If you are miserable you

are miserable; that is the reality, that is what is happening,

so confront that. Look it square in the eye without flinching.

When you are having a bad time, examine that experience,

observe it mindfully, study the phenomenon and learn

its mechanics. The way out of a trap is to study the

trap itself, learn how it is built. You do this by

taking the thing apart piece by piece.

The trap can’t trap you if it has

been taken to pieces.

The result is

freedom.

 

Henepola Gunaratana

 

seek union with others and with the sage

 

Seek union with others and with the Sage.

 

“Holding together”

denotes a time for creating union

with others in order to complement and assist

one another, just as the rain complements and assists

the earth, which is an image often associated with

this hexagram. In order for your unions to bear

the greatest possible fruit, certain

requirements must

be met.
 

The first

requirement for holding

together with others is that we hold

together with our own inner truth. This means

that we adhere to proper principles as a matter of habit,

striving always to remain innocent, balanced, and

correct. In short, marry the Sage first and

faithfully, and good fortune will

come to all subsequent

marriages.
 

The second

requirement for holding

together with others is that we

steadfastly resist the clamoring of

the emotional inferiors within. Every union

meets with challenges, and if we are not resolute

against the effects of fear, doubt, despair, and anger,

no lasting success will be possible in any relationship.

This is a good time to ask yourself if you are

displaying the steadfast correctness and

strength of character that are

at the heart of all great

unions.
 

Finally,

it is the responsibility

of one who would unite to see

that it is possible for others to enjoy union

as well. The desire for community is deeply felt by

all humans, and it is the shared responsibility of all those

on the higher path to make some sort of “family”

available to those in need. In doing this,

we pay homage to

the Sage.

 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 8, Pi / Holding Together

 

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realization is bound into every difficulty


 

Every breath, 

each movement, all activity 

is completely, inseparably interwoven 

with enlightenment. Complete realization 

is bound into every petty difficulty, and

wholly liberated and illuminated

through quiet awareness 

of that fact. 

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 21

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