Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | December 7, 2009

Wisdom of the I Ching

The I Ching(my version is that of Brian Browne Walker) is an excellent text for anyone pursuing a taoist vision of life, or practicing tai chi as a way of life. It is a “guide to life’s turning points,” and of course,life is turning or changing all the time. But it is a philosophy of character and correct behavior, a way. It is a pure, truthful, innocent approach to life, not a Macchiavellian, or temporal success tome.

I’ve “consulted” the I Ching recently, and it has been dead on with advice. I was bummed out about not getting a date with someone recently, and it said not to be ruled by the desires of the ego, by desire. We all want things, including me, but to allow our desires to control us throws us out of balance.

I’ll often ask the I Ching for a lesson of the day. Yesterday, it was sui, following. Do not argue with what is, simply follow the progress of truth. Make it possible for others to be loyal and helpful to you by following inner truth. Quietly accept the way things are. Acceptance is the most fundamental philosophy of the I Ching.

I interpret acceptance in two ways. First, it is wu wei, non action, not trying to agressively take control of a situation, allowing things to resolve themselves, sometimes with just a little bit of a gentle nudge here and there, very much like the 8 ounces deflecting the thousand pounds concept of tai chi. But premeditated manipulation of things is not good. It is also a recognition of the temporal quality of agressive action, and most of the time, its futility.

But I also interpret acceptance as when we accept things like a gift. We have to learn to be accepting, and as an extension, grateful. Life itself, with its ups and downs is a gift.

Today, I received ting, or the cauldron. The cauldron is the image representing the mind and our thoughts, and my lesson from the I Ching today was to sit in meditation and purify my thoughts, beause it is what is in the cauldron of the mind that is your offering to the higher power, and the quality of your asistance from the higher power is in direct relation to the quality of your offering.

Our thoughts are so tainted and mudied and dirtied, often without us realizing it because we give free reign to our thoughts and imaginations and desires and fantasies. But when you make a conscious effort to clean it up, to purify it, to make of it an ofering, first you realize what a mess it is in there, and then you realize how cool it is to clean it up a little and make it presentable to a “higher power.”

Walker says, give up the incessant demands of the ego, …fears, desires, strategies to control, harshness towards others, all this repels the higher power and blocks your nourishment.

So, see what’s in that cauldron of a head of yours, purify it, and be open to the assistance of the Creative.



  1. Strangely. it’s only when we let go, that things come around.

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