An Introduction to I Ching
This year, my goal has been to study the I Ching and report what I have learned on my
blog, Tao Te Ching Daily. The parameters of this goal is that my reading list in 2014 will
consist mostly of I Ching books, to the exclusion of all others, in order to know this
beautiful book more deeply. I was nervous about making this goal public because I did
not want people to assume that I was an expert on the I Ching just because I am
studying it publicly. There is so much to learn! So when Shasheta asked me to write this
post I was a little nervous, so I am just going to come right out and admit that I am not
an expert. I will, however, try and provide you with a little taste of this fabulous book and
invite you to join me this year in studying it a bit if you are interested.
Many people have at least heard of the I Ching. It’s a pretty famous book. The I Ching is
an ancient book of divination out of China. It’s origin goes back thousands of years – so
far back they don’t really know exactly how old it is. Since that time, many people
throughout time have studied it to help them to understand the patterns that nature
These patterns are so natural to us that we often ignore them. If you look in the sky at
night, you will see the moon in one of its various stages. Every month, since time began
on earth, the moon has been progressing through its phases. When the moon is new,
this is a time of new energy – a time to start new projects and move things forward. As
the moon gets full, projects are completing. As the moon starts to wane and head back
down towards the new moon again, this is a chance for us to rest or plan for what we are doing next.
We can take this basic pattern of the moon and extend it to the seasons. The new
moon is like Spring – fresh new energy, things start moving and growing! It’s wonderful
and fresh. Then we have summer when things are in full swing. This is like the first
quarter moon. Then we have Fall, where things are winding down. This is like the Full
Moon. The crops are being harvested and all the things that we have been working on
are starting to complete. Then as winter comes, we retreat. This is like the waning
moon. We go inside and plan for the next Spring.
These patterns are ancient, but they repeat endlessly in all aspects of our lives. If we
can learn to recognize these patterns in specific situations in our lives, we will become
wise to know what the right movement is. Is a relationship ending? Should you start a
Our hearts know the right answer because we have been following these same patterns
since time began. Our bodies are tuned to this rhythmic pattern that the Universe is
making. We know what is coming next. The I Ching helps us to tune into these patterns
and make them more conscious.
I hope that you will join me in learning more about this wonderful book. A big thank you
to Shasheta for inviting me over!
Amy Putkonen writes regularly about the Tao Te Ching at her blog, Tao Te Ching Daily.
She challenges you to reflect on Taoist principles in real life situations and see where it takes you.
Stop by and say hello!
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