Finding sense of purpose: an I Ching reading

I did a reading last night about finding a sense of purpose and this is what came through. The I Ching is spookily amazing. This one includes a guide to meditation.

Hexagram 22: PI
Inside, the strength of
simplicity and self-knowledge.
Outside, the beauty of
acceptance and gentleness.

This hexagram encourages you to cultivate a quality of grace in your relationships and in your general way of being. In this way you gain a power greater than any other to open a way through obstructions in your dealings with others. Good fortune is yours if you concentrate on bringing more grace to your thoughts and actions now.

It is human nature to want to use forceful ways to try to get what we want from others and from life. Our egos encourage us to act aggressively, to speak boldly, to intimidate others, to “buffalo” our way through difficult situations. This false power can be momentarily satisfying to our ego, and temporary victories can be won in this way, but genuine power and lasting progress come from a different kind of strength altogether.

They come from inner strength, which is characterized by a steadfast devotion to the principles of humility, simplicity, equanimity, and acceptance. By gradually letting go of the vain, bullying energy of the ego and accepting the quiet guidance of the Higher Power, one acquires the substance that makes ongoing good fortune a possibility.

This is a time to relinquish self-important maneuvering. Instead, return to stillness and contemplate the inherent wisdom of the principles of the Sage. By practicing quiet strength within and gentle acceptance without, you acquire a grace that dissolves all barriers to progress.

In the beginning, one must walk slowly and carefully. Do not assume that you know the answers or need to force a solution. Remain modest and allow the Unknown to guide you.

Hexagram 52: KÊN
Still your emotions through meditation.

Receiving this hexagram is a sign that you need to quiet your emotions so that you can think clearly. To answer the clamorings of the ego with action now is to invite misfortune. The I Ching counsels non action and the stilling of the emotions through meditation.

It is the nature of having a body to have strong feelings and impulses. However, if we allow our thinking to be controlled by them, we cannot act with the gentleness, neutrality, and graceful wisdom of the Sage. Instead, we move rashly when we ought to keep still, or we solidify when we ought to remain fluid. Therefore it is necessary to quiet the body and its inferior elements so that our thoughts and actions may be clear and balanced.

Three things are advised. First, sit quietly in a self-supporting position with your back straight and eyes closed. Second, observe the flow of your bodily emotions. Do not judge or resist them; the simple practice of watching them come, linger, and go without acting on them allows you to gradually separate them from your thought processes. Third, turn your inner conflicts over to the Deity for resolution.

The help of the Higher Power is only made available to those who ask for it in a disciplined way, who make an offering of their stillness and mindfulness. Through meditation we reduce the influence of the inferior elements and make it possible for the Sage to assist us. Keep still as a mountain now and you will be rewarded with good fortune.

from the I Ching, or Book of Changes: A Guide to Life’s Turning Points, by Brian Browne Walker