The I Ching as a process
The I Ching is an ancient text from China, well known around the world, and regarded as one of the earliest written efforts of humankind to basically figure out how to be a human. Dating from approximately 2500 years ago, the I Ching (pronounced like “ee jing”) is often referred to as the Book of Changes. Commonly used for divination, the text provides a series of contexts for navigating the ups & downs of life.
It’s a fascinating work, and I’ve spent over 20 years studying and practicing with it. At the beginning of my practice with the I Ching, I would interpret everything I read in terms of my own life and personal experiences, my own wants and needs. I would ask questions about choices and events unfolding in my life, and I found it to be profound and engaging – at times it almost felt like the text knew what I was thinking. And yet as I continued to practice, it began to address matters outside of my own life circumstance, and my own personal questions seemed to become more & more irrelevant.
Eventually I stopped asking questions, and ultimately moved away from thinking about myself, as my practice with the I Ching opened into a study of universal principles and the cycles of movement of life. I began to see that the opportunity & movement encountered in life follow rules, but not rigid rules, and discomfort is ultimately no less peaceful than success. In very simple terms, if things seem bad, don’t worry, they’ll get better; and if things are going well, don’t get too comfortable, difficulty will certainly recur. The I Ching is not so much a book of truths, but rather an interpretive guide for the truths we discover in life.
The I Ching as a foundation
My teacher said that the I Ching is the mother of the Nei Jing (the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, the oldest medical text in the world). And indeed it can be seen as the foundational resource for much of the underlying philosophy of what has evolved to become Oriental medicine. The I Ching provides a excellent foundation for understanding the concepts of Yin & Yang.
There are many, many translations and versions of the I Ching floating around out there, and indeed I am working on one of my own. Some of them are more scholarly or academic in nature, some more flowery & poetic in their presentation, and some more based on the author’s personal experience. My book will be somewhat of a combination of all of the above, but will focus on my studies and developing understanding of what a human is and how we are able to function in the world we have created.
The key is to find a version of the I Ching that you like or can relate to easily, and to begin the process of consulting or reading it. Engage with the text and you will in time find your understanding of your life opening up, and your struggles diminishing. Please feel free to contact me for any help or guidance I can offer to help you connect with the I Ching.
I Ching Consultations
I continue to practice with the I Ching, and I also offer personalized consultations for anyone interested in learning more about it, or seeking guidance with any of life's challenging circumstances. Readings can help you see how to approach important changes or difficult circumstances without struggling, and understand how we are often creating the very circumstances that block our own growth and progress.
Consultations are built around addressing and understanding your current concerns and issues in your life, areas in which you feel you would like additional insight and guidance. Using my experience and familiarity with the text along with my intuitive and positive outlook I can help you navigate change and growth in your life.
I encourage you to contact me if you're interested in a personalized I Ching consultation, or would like to learn more about this seminal and amazing resource. And please check my blog regularly for posts discussing some of the principles I’ve found in my practice with the I Ching.