Observing Opportunity.

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Human curiosity is a lovely timeless thing. No matter what life hands us, curiosity truly just waits under the surface.

To that end, I met with a curious new friend for a hike and I Ching Guidance the other week. No, I'm not giving guidance to cats just yet - we'll save that for our later years - but curiosity and cats do pair together so well, and the site of 'dressing cats up as sushi' seemed too good to pass over. 'Hell' may be fashioned for the inquisitive, but I'd rather ask, than have a hell sneak up on me.

My friend S cast the following combination of hexagrams, with one minor movement of old yin into young yang in the top, sixth, line. This is in the area of how S moves, acts, and thinks on society as she is out-and-about in the world. Such an area for change is something which I think many of us will relate to today: how we are perceived, our life satisfaction, our vulnerabilities, our habits, and what is available to us to answer the questions and callings within...

My last post illustrated decently the areas of image, quality, and character contained by a hexagram study, so rather than explain these fresh again here, I'll dive into the deep end.

On the left, hexagram #8 Accord, is characterized by the image of Earth inside Water. The qualities of which are receptivity inside danger, or, receptivity inside mastering pitfalls.

Hexagram #20 Observing, on the right, is characterized by the image of Earth inside Wind. The qualities of which are receptivity inside action.

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Briefly meditate on these images/qualities for a moment. The inside (the body, or the belly) is filled with the receptive, the Earth. Imagine how readily the Earth bends to our will. It accepts whatever is given: storms, fires, excavations, industry, grumpy humans throwing things at it... The Earth makes way and accepts all the forces that move above and through it.

Breathe deep into your belly and torso this notion of receptivity, or the receptive. Breathe with this for several large breaths until you begin to relax and the imaging becomes more subtle... Underneath the surface of our Earth, thrive millions and millions of its subjects, churning out a rather serious cosmic compost, giving and taking lives, ashes to ashes, dust to dust... Breathe this sense of Earth into your belly.

When life hands us a big challenge it is surprising just how long it can take to move beyond it - to digest it - and usually a person begins to do so after some time of rest and reflection. Hibernation almost; or withdrawing into the cave. That yin (the receptive) is so very present here in this casting of I Ching, and that S is now several years into co-parenting, it seems natural that an accord has been largely developed, and S moves now toward an active change for how S is perceived in the world. Certainly the readiness to jump into an I Ching reading speaks toward that readiness - to seek out new information.

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On the outside then, or just behind the forehead, meditate briefly on the image of water. There are all kinds of water: rain, streams, oceans, lakes, rivers... Continue with observing your breath through your torso while imagining the qualities of water inside your head. Water amends - like Earth - to anything we give to it - boats, rocks, debris, sunken ships... and it is not something we can survive inside for any length of time without coming up for air. So there is a constant sense of 'alert' when water is present - despite its engaging beauty.

This water, this 'mastering pitfalls,' is in transition, moving in this case into Wind. Shift your meditation now to this image of Wind - moving from Water to Wind. It is a slight, yet dynamic shift. The air envelopes everything - as does Earth and Water - and Wind, covers a tremendous amount of ground quickly. Here, S's perception is growing - expanding. From a time of mystery perhaps, S moves into a time of Perspective...

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S, spoke of a quality kind of like craving in our ensuing conversation. The lower three lines of each hexagram speak to this, in that the levels of personal, interpersonal, and societal are consistently receptive (yin). Being mid life (though S argues to be 1/3 through life!) S has available all the tools to do as is pleasing: sense of self - check - established relationships - check - and professional experience to draw upon to craft further a career...

... Yet at this time, S, awaits upon word of work in the fall, and is quite ready to make the move.

The movement in the top trigrams also speaks to this shift: water is the middle daughter, and wind is the eldest daughter. The movement in character alone depicts a kind of graduation, or a growing in authority. Given the underlying consistency of yin in the lower trigrams, S, has all the personal authority at the ready to claim this next move. She is consistently receptive on the inside trigram; that is, within her inner life and perceptions.

So all may appear well, in that a decision - or by a piece of new information - all may fall into place, and presto! all may be well. And right at that point bubbled up a sense of caution for me...

That this is a time of slight and gradual transition, the level of consistency here gives rise to becoming too passive in awaiting the change. The change is taking place out in the world, so there are factors at play that if one doesn't seize the daycertainly the day will unfold as it may... There is excitement to be found so long as there is no panic to do so.

Looking twice upon this caution, the idea of 'complacency' came to mind, yet only toward how S wants to be known in the world. That is, in having the life experience to draw upon, now is truly a time for not conforming to outside ideas. Rather, today is the day for capitalizing on the inward learning that has taken place in recent years, and moving actively into a sense of Decision based upon life's little lessons it must hand us. Such qualitatively-based decision making is like making the layers of inward looking decidedly active - seeking fulfillment or Satisfaction, perhaps uncovering something forgotten or delayed, starting that thing that has yet to be tried...

After a time of great change, or even upheaval, certainly a time of exhaustion and rest are probably the best thing to be doing: rest IS the action in such times. But once any 'craving' or unsettledness stirs, it is a time to consider taking concrete action, seeking out opportunity.


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