Heaven and Humankind Are One: Using the I Ching to Enhance Your Practice and Personal Life
“If you wish to be a great doctor you should be well-versed in I Ching.”
–Sun Simiao (581-682)
Welcome to the I Ching, the 2,500 year-old tome used throughout Chinese history as a diagnostic tool to uncover the roots of and potential treatment approach to a person’s medical or personal concern. In this 4-day course, we will discuss the essentials of the I Ching and its 64 hexagrams so that you can apply the wisdom of this tome to help guide your life.
The first two days of the course will cover the practice of the I Ching as a tool for gaining objective insights in any situation by analyzing the hexagrams. The next two days will focus on the application of the hexagrams for medical diagnosis and treatment. At the end of the course, you will know how to use the hexagrams of the I Ching as objective advisors in your personal life as well as in your medical practice.
In 2005 Dong Shan 董珊 from the University of Beijing came across a dagger-axe that was held in a private collection.
The axe, dated around 900-800 BC, contains an inscription:
‘一六一一一六’ and 五六一一五八 are ‘numerical hexagrams’ that both convert to hexagram 50 ䷱. The text that follows it contains the name of hexagram 50 as well as phrases that are reminiscent of the line texts of hexagram 50.
Although the provenance of the axe is unknown Dong Shan does not think it is a fake, considering the patina and other features on the axe. This find would be the earliest object that directly links the numerical hexagrams to the Zhouyi, and it also contains the earliest text sample of it.
My good friend Ruud Nederveen made a website where you can consult the Yijing and read the text from Wilhelm’s translation. You might think, aren’t there enough of these websites already? But Ruud’s site gives extra goodies that you will not find on other sites. When you consult the Yijing online on his site there are several features that makes this website different from others (in a good way):
Wilhelm’s commentary is hidden under an arrow so you won’t be distracted by text that doesn’t belong to the core text of the Yi. If you want to read the commentary you can click on the arrow.
The button ‘the Sign’ opens up a treasure trove of information about the hexagram that you cast and its trigrams:
you will find the basic trigrams of the hexagram where you can click on the description to get detailed information about that trigram and what it could mean with regard to the position that it has in the hexagram,
there are the nuclear trigrams, also with a description of what nuclear trigrams are as well as an indication of their nature and position,
the baoti 包體, the ‘enveloping trigrams’ are given with a description of their meaning and usage,
the resonance trigram – if you want to know what that is: go to the website and consult the Yijing Hint: it’s originally used in Xuankong Dagua Feng Shui,
The Omnimono button:
Extremely unique is the Omnimono method developed by Henk Melching, a method where trigrams are connected to the lines, based on the sequence of the 3x throw of 1 coin (or 3 coins drawn separately). This is similar to the trigram connection described by Zhang Li in 《Yixiang Tushuo Neipian 易象圖說外篇》 (written in 1364). An explanation of Zhang Li’s method, which originally was used for the yarrow stalk method, is given with the Omnimono method. This section is still in development but can already be consulted.Most of the texts for all the trigram attributes & descriptions are translated from my Dutch book so if you ever wanted an English version of it this is as close as you are going to get (for now).
The constituting and governing rulers are indicated (in case you should be interested in that)
I’d say give it a try and see how it works for you. There is also the option for a paid subscription which enables you to log your Yijing sessions. You can also look up hexagrams without consulting the Yijing online. And there is more because so many items are clickable! Last but not least: I am very fond of the large singing bowl at the end of each page. Click on it and it will start to play.
Highly recommended for any user of the Yijing, especially those users who want to do more with the structure of the hexagram and trigrams.
The famous doctor Sun Yikui (ca. 1522-1699) is credited with the words “If you don’t know Yijing, you are inadequate to be called a great physician.” Several doctors in Chinese history used the Yijing or Book of Changes as a diagnostic tool to gain deeper insight in a patient’s condition or to pinpoint the cause of an illness. But how did they do that? One of the tools they used was Wenwanggua.