Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 57

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 56

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

I Ching Hexagram #9: Small Accumulation

Rice Fields

Rice Fields

This hexagram is all about the little things.

I loved what Hua Ching Ni wrote about this hexagram, “One has to practice the healthy way daily and unconditionally. Without daily practice, the little progress one makes will quickly wither away.” I often find while studying these hexagrams that the one that is most relevant to me shows up on that day.  “Withering away” perfectly described my blog, my writing, my studies of the I Ching… lots of things in my life. Consistency can be a bit of a thorn in my side sometimes. But I have learned to appreciate the waves. I can’t do anything about the past except learn from it. These sorts of waves of consistency are just bringing me into awareness of where I need some work.

I’ve been trying to lose weight recently, and have been eating a plant-based diet for most of the year, on and off. (Thanks to the amazing work of T. Colin Campbell in The China Study.) My sisters and I joined up on FatSecret.com to keep track of what we are eating and to hopefully lose weight by doing so. I’ve been rather inconsistent with my postings and this hexagram is a good reminder to stay on track.

So this hexagram teaches us to keep chipping away at those little things. Work at improving yourself every single day, and – as Hua Ching Ni says – never miss a day!

 

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 55

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 54

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

I Ching Hexagram #8: Fellowship

beach_scene

 

In the post on hexagram #7, “Armies“, we talked about how leadership requires discipline. People often have to do things that they don’t want to do to move a cause forward. This hexagram is about a different kind of leadership – a leadership where people join by choice. This type of leadership is about community and people working together, willingly and happily.

According to Deng Ming-Dao, the character, Bi, which names this hexagram, originally meant a grouping of five families (during Ancient China). Throughout history, neighbors have gathered to share news and to help each other through tough times. In modern times, groups are often self-selected based on religious, sports or special interest groups. Even choices in where you live are more open now, thanks to easy air travel! I can even rent a room in someone’s home through the Internet in any part of the globe. I saw a service this week online called MealSharing.com that lets you cook a meal up and serve it to complete strangers, maybe travelers from other countries even… we have lots of new and fun ways to get connected.

Fellowship suggests that we look for clues as to whether or not a community is a good fit. I read two posts this week about this very topic: one was my dear friend, Michele Bergh, writing about some challenging choices she had in letting a community go. Another, was a blogger friend of mine, Deborah Weber, talking of letting go of practices that no longer serve her. Both of these woman were right on queue with this hexagram to listen carefully to the signs in front of them. Bravo! I think sometimes we believe that we have to keep going with our involvement with communities way past what is energetically correct. Like the young person who learns to clean their plates regardless of whatever else is going on, we sometimes hang on to communities just because.  We let the rules determine our participation instead of testing and measuring our continued involvement against our heart’s litmus.

Sometimes our communities are global in nature. As I read the commentaries for these hexagrams (see resources at the bottom of this post), it occurred to me that leadership in our governments today have an even greater responsibility than ever before. We still have countries, states and nations, but the Internet has given us the ability to see each other more clearly. We can see when a government is not treating people fairly and it becomes public international debate. Mean people just can’t hide anymore. This sort of transparency has never occurred like this before. The world has become smaller and more intimate and we are learning that caring for ourselves (our own nation) is just not enough. The decisions that we make as a nation affect people all over the globe.We need to care for each other and for our planet too. Like in the Armies hexagram, our militaries have taken much of this responsibility but much of it falls on the individual in the end. It ends up that our everyday choices determine a great deal about how things turn out.

We are powerful.

Everyone is responsible for their own choices. Who you follow and how you lead are both very important choices, even though they may seem insignificant. Even choices about which kind of cereal to buy or about how you talk to the woman at the grocery store matters a great deal. What are you voting for with your actions? With your words?

This hexagram suggests that you take a stand but also consider things carefully. It cautions us not to wait too long to decide which side of the fence you are on because in not deciding, you ultimately will lose. The reason for this is because we need strength in our convictions. When we waffle, we dilute that strength. If we are just one person, what causes do we want to put our energy into? Choose carefully, because you only have so much energy and in order to be effective, you need to be strong. Your strength comes from focusing that energy.

So I am curious what you think? If you have an I Ching book laying around, read hexagram #8 and let us know your thoughts! I would love to hear from you! If you don’t have a copy, click on one of the links below and check out a copy online.

 

Here are the resources that I have used in my I Ching studies so far:

The Living I Ching / Deng Ming-Dao
The Book of Changes & The Unchanging Truth / Hua Ching Ni
The I Ching or Book of Changes / Richard Wilhelm & Cary Baynes

 

 

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 53

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 52

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

I Ching Hexagram #7: Armies

Terracotta_Soldiers

 

I prefer peace, so it is interesting trying to understand this next hexagram, “Armies”. In reading this hexagram, I think about all of the armies that are active right now around the world. It may seem peaceful in my little corner of the world, but I know that our armies are working in other parts of the world right now. There is political unrest in many areas of the world. Many things are happening that people are justifiably upset about. Some of the situations have been happening for decades, centuries even.

It would be nice to think that our United States armies are out there to support democracy worldwide, but I suspect that often times the underlying mission is to expand our bottom line – to feed the fat cats that run things around here. As I mentioned in the last post, I think that our military personnel mostly come from a good place when choosing to support our country. They want to help people around the world to experience the same freedoms that we do here in the United States. This is the main argument we go by here in the US to justify our involvement in various global situations. If we look at the previous hexagram, Dispute, we see that the I Ching has some very clear guidelines on how disputes should be handled and most of them do not require engaging in battle, let alone enlisting an army.

Whatever the reason, people gathering together to protect ideals is a human need shared by all cultures. I think the big question that is asked of this hexagram is to consider what your purpose is for going to war – is it a nobel purpose that will ultimately serve the citizens or is it self-serving? The I Ching warns us to take everything into account before going into battle. Having deep support from the citizens is important. If the battle is properly justified, the people will naturally support it. If I look back at some of the battles that have happened in this country, I can stand behind some of them and others not. One battle I support is the battle fought by the Patriots in order to create this country of ours – the American Revolution. Then there was the battle of civil rights, the battle of women’s rights and the smaller battles that have taken place in my own life with much smaller “armies”.

Sometimes the army is a group of people that want to make a stand. It might be the congresspeople who left the state of Wisconsin in order to not be forced to vote to disband many of the local teacher’s unions. It might be the women of Liberia who protested by not having sex with their husbands in order to stop a war. It could be the people protesting the U.S. financial decisions through a movement called Occupy Wall Street. It could even be people walking across the United States to raise awareness of the global warming crisis. Armies don’t always have to be governmental in nature.

We all have things that we believe in. I think that this hexagram is just reminding us to stay present to what those things are and to be sure about what your reasons for battle. I know, for myself, I have often gone to battle on way lesser things.

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 51

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

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