Many users of the Yijing struggle with the text of the oracle: how can you read it in such a way that it always gives a meaningful and relevant answer to the question or situation that you address to the Book of Changes? This workshop will teach you that. We will explore the Chinese text, its origin and development, and will look at early usage and readings of this enigmatic yet fascinating oracle from early China. From there we will build a framework that will help you to understand the layout of the text, and how it conveys it messages in images. You will learn how to read the text, how to work with its images, and how to lift the veil of mystery from its words. After this workshop you know how the text can answer any question that you address to the oracle. You will be able to read the images and can practically apply them to any situation. Who’s afraid of the text? You won’t be after this workshop.Continue reading →
Su 素: in early texts almost exclusively used as a descriptive adjective: ‘unadorned, plain, not processed or modified’. This also means that what follows it is a noun, an object. We already see this usage on bronze inscriptions from around 600BC, where it appears in lists of gifts from the king to the owner of the bronze vessel, who had it cast to commemorate the event (see for instance the Shi Ke xu 師克盨; Yang Xiaoneng, ‘The Shi Ke Xu: Reconsideration of an Inscribed Late Western Zhou Ritual Vessel’, Artibus Asiae, Vol. 52, No. 3/4 (1992), pp. 163-214. See also this article). In the same way it is used in the Liji 禮記:
A Great or other officer, leaving his state, should not take his vessels of sacrifice with him across the boundary. The former will leave his vessels for the time with another Great officer, and the latter his with another officer. A Great or other officer, leaving his state, on crossing the boundary, should prepare a place for an altar, and wail there, looking in the direction of the state. He should wear his white upper garment and white lower, and his white cap, remove his (ornamental) collar, wear shoes of untanned leather, have a covering of white (dog’s-fur) for his cross-board, and leave his horses manes undressed. He should not trim his nails or beard, nor make an offering at his (spare) meals. He should not say to any one that he is not chargeable with guilt, nor have any of his women approach him. After three months he will return to his usual dress.
(tr. James Legge, modified)
Personally I would not have chosen ‘white’ as a translation of su 素. I think it refers to plain, uncoloured, raw material. Continue reading →
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.