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No time for the I Ching

Ever heard this?

“I know the I Ching works, but I don’t have time for it.”

Ever said it?

I have… which is more embarrassing than I care to think about. Naturally I have endless time to work on readings for clients, and work out the best possible ways to help people learn the I Ching, and even write the occasional blog post about it. It’s just for my own puzzles and decisions that there somehow isn’t time to bring out the full ‘diviner’s toolkit’ and work out what’s really going on, and why, and where the solutions are. Odd, that – in a breathtakingly stupid kind of way.

I can see I’m not the only one when I glance through the reasons given by people who unsubscribe from Friends’ Notes. Some are just changing email addresses, or going on holiday, or trying to find the bottom of their Inbox (I can relate) – but the biggest single reason offered is ‘not having time’.

It might be nice, at this point, to introduce the 27-second I Ching Express – if it existed. There’s no getting around it: the I Ching does take time. Yes, casting a reading can take just a few seconds, and yes, it’s possible to get a quick answer just by glancing at the line texts – but frankly, getting a genuine, clear, non-superficial answer quickly is one of the most advanced interpretive skills there is, and guess what it takes to learn that? And no matter how much you’ve learned, it will still always take time to receive all a reading has to offer, to let it seep into the deeper levels of awareness and bring about change. Understanding takes time.

All this made me extra-delighted to come across this article by Havi Brooks: Solving the “but I just don’t have time!” problem. I love Havi’s writing, I’m a fan of her duck (naturally), and I think she has the internet’s best order-button at the foot of her ‘Procrastination Dissolve-o-matic‘ page (note to self – should really get round to ordering that before the price goes up tomorrow…). I think she’s really nailed it here:

“It takes time to make time. Taking the time now makes it all go faster when you’re actually doing it. Because . . .

  • When you’re functioning from a place of clarity, you’re way more likely to catch (or even avoid) those errors that get made out of haste and annoyance. The same errors that result in everything becoming a tangled, irritating mess. Huge time-saver.
  • When you’ve taken time out to get your bearings, you make better decisions. Decisions that impact everything else you do.
  • When you stop to re-assess, ground yourself and calm down, everything you do happens more quickly and smoothly. Things start falling into place. That’s what flow looks like.

Plus you have perspective. And perspective is the thing that keeps you from banging your head against the wall. Yay, perspective! Good stuff.

You have to stop to get started.

Every word of this holds true for divination. The place of clarity, better decisions, grounding, moving into the flow, perspective

Who else has bruises, and possibly some structural damage to nearby walls, that they know could have been avoided if they’d either a) taken time to consult or b) taken more time to pay attention to a reading?

The I Ching takes time; it also gives time back, quiet and uncluttered and translucent.

4 responses to No time for the I Ching

  1. I’m in this time rut right now. I want to devote more time to I Ching meditation, but it’s always something else, something else. You are right: I have to stop, to start. Quite down. Calm the anxious, restless energy that drives me on, and just … exhale with the yi.

  2. I wanted to mention how excellent Ellianna’s music is for making the mind/heart/body connection.All you do is listen and while you do,peacefully bring your thoughts back if they start up.I find this creates a compassionate reading even if the room is a little messy(I mean,honestly, the word god and the word slob are connected poetically either by accident or design, in an interesting way).If a person is prone towards Obsessive cumpulsive thinking it is often the case that ritualistic demands can seriously consume an effort which only requires sincerity through self awareness of the fleeting nature of our thoughts and an acceptance and willfull attention to the heart of compassion(may require short practce).

  3. “I wanted to mention how excellent Ellianna’s music is for making the mind/heart/body connection.All you do is listen and while you do,peacefully bring your thoughts back if they start up.”

    Exactly! That’s what makes Opening Space for Change such a good fit, I think.

    Also, the core of what she does is about experiencing peace in the midst of turmoil – she has an audio book, recorded quite literally with bombs dropping around her home, called Quiet in the Eye of the Storm. And finding that kind of awareness without trying to somehow ‘turn off’ the emotions that are part of you, and part of the question is exactly what we need to do in a reading.

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