stay true to what is pure and innocent

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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accept three precepts

the paws of the buddha smelled like popcorn

 

Even if

you know how to recite

the texts, you still have to discern reality

from artificiality. Why? Sound and form dim the mind,

falsehoods fool the ears; personality and ego become second

nature, the disease of self-affirmation is deep-seated.

When the mind is separated from the

Way,  the principle is hard to

comprehend.

 

If you wish

to return to the supreme

Way, have deep faith and first accept

three precepts. If you practice in accord with

these three precepts consistently from

beginning to end, then you will

attain the true Way. The

three precepts

are:

 

simplifying involvements 

not craving anything 

quieting the mind

 

…A scripture says,

“If people can empty their minds

and not contrive anything, it is not that

they want the Way, but the Way

spontaneously reverts

to them.”

 

Treatise on Sitting Forgetting

 

concentrate on the higher laws

benoit courti

 

By concentrating on the higher laws,

you acquire the power that

underlies them.

 

This hexagram teaches us to set an example for others through our own contemplation of proper principles.

A fundamental fact of consciousness is that we take on the attributes and energy of that upon which we focus our attention. In studying and meditating on the I Ching, we are concentrating on the underlying principles that govern the universe. Through contemplation of the wisdom of such principles as independence, detachment, modesty, acceptance, and tolerance, we begin to embody them in our own lives. Their power informs our actions and practices and we begin to have great influence as a result.

This hexagram comes to indicate that you need to make a self-correction and return to contemplation of proper principles. By sacrificing the harsh judgements of your ego and asking the Sage for guidance, you free yourself from hindering influences and increase your merit—and thereby your ability to have an influence.

It is in the quiet contemplation of what is correct that we become detached from anxious emotions about the situations that face us. This detachment gives us the balance and calm to choose solutions which are in accordance with the higher laws. In so doing we gain the aid of the Creative in everything we do, and others are drawn to this strength. Truly, we gain the ability to lead through contemplation of the principles of our own leader, the Sage.
 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 20, Kuan / Contemplation

 

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let the teaching flow out from your own breast

herself

 

Yantou and Xuefeng

were snowed in on Tortoise Mountain.

Day after day, Yantou slept while Xuefeng sat up

and meditated. On the third day, Yantou sat up

too and said, “Get some sleep. What do you

think you are — a roadside shrine?”

Xuefeng touched his chest and

said, “My heart isn’t at peace.

I can’t fool myself.”

 

Yantou grave a great yell.

“Don’t you know the family treasure doesn’t

come in through the gate?” he said. “Let the teaching

flow out from your own breast to cover

the sky and the earth.”

 

Xuefeng was suddenly enlightened

and cried out, “Today Tortoise Mountain

has finally awakened!”

 

John Tarrant

bring me the rhinoceros

 

a truly good person


 

A truly

good person doesn’t

dwell on her goodness.

Thus she can be good.

A person of false goodness

never forgets her goodness.

Thus her goodness is

always false.

 

A truly

good person does nothing,

yet nothing remains undone.

A person of false goodness is forever

doing, yet everything remains

forever undone.

 

Those who

are interested in service

act without motive. Those who are

interested in righteousness act with

motives of all sorts. Those who are

interested in propriety act, and

receiving no response, they

roll up their sleeves

and use force.

 

When

Tao is lost,

goodness appears.

When goodness is lost,

philanthropy appears.

When philanthropy is lost,

justice appears.

When justice is lost,

only etiquette

is left.

 

Etiquette

is the faintest husk

of real loyalty and faith,

and it is the beginning of confusion.

Knowledge of the future is only

a blossom of Tao; to become

preoccupied with it

is folly.

 

Thus the

sage sets her sights

on the substance and not the

surface, on the fruit and not the

flower. Leaving the one,

she gains the

other.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 38

 

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