I Ching Summary for Portland Shambhala Center 2020

Every year on Shambhala Day, it is traditional to throw the I Ching, the classical Chinese system of interpreting questions or current situations by tossing, in our case, three coins. Each toss of three coins can result in a broken line, representing the yielding or the energy of earth; or a solid line, representing the firm or the energy of heaven. A line also can be changing or unchanging; a changing line can end up being transformed into its opposite.

The three coins are tossed six times, resulting in a hexagram, a set of six lines; there are 64 possible hexagrams, and many subtleties and details that you can learn more about.

This year, Gardner Murphy threw the coins on the sangha’s behalf. One question asked by John Smith was ‘What is “Square One” for Portland Shambhala?’. The question seemed in reference to the instruction VCTR gave about coming back to square one during a recorded talk by VCTR viewed by Shambhala International sangha on Shambhala Day 2020. The I Ching results were interpreted on Shambhala Day by Gardner Murphy . Abbey Pleviak also helped with the summary in April 2020.

The results and interpretation are drawn Abbey Pleviak’s and Gardner Murphy’s references–

  • I Ching: Book of Changes: Richard Wilhelm translation, 1973 10th edition
  • I-Ching: The Book of Answers: Wu Wei 2005
  • I-Ching: Navigate Life’s Transitions: Antonia and Bill Beattie 2004

Yi Jing Hexagram 60Gardner’s throw was Hexagram 60 – Setting Limitations

The pronouncement of hexagram 60 is:
Just as a lake can only hold so much water before spilling over, so do we need limitations in our life. We can find success through discrimination and setting appropriate limits. Limitation protects against financial ruin, and limitation is the backbone of virtue. Without limits, we would simply dissolve. To be strong, we must be bound by a sense of duty that we voluntarily accept. There is complete freedom within the bounds of form.

Changing lines:

1. Not leaving the door or the courtyard. No blame.

Sometimes we are confronted with insurmountable obstacles. At those times, the right thing to do is to stay put. By doing so, we gather strength so that when the right moment comes, we are capable of vigorous action. “Discretion is of prime importance in preparing the way for momentous things.” ( R. Wilhelm)

2. Not leaving the gate and courtyard brings misfortune.

When the time for action comes, one must seize the moment. Water collects in a lake until it is overfull and must find an outlet to begin to flow. So it is with people and situations. It is right to hesitate right up until the moment action is required, and then one should hesitate no more. If one waits over-long, opportunity passes you by.

4. Contented limitations bring success.

If a limitation requires effort then one wears out one’s energy in trying to maintain it. The best kinds of limitations come from natural laws, like the limitation that water flows downhill rather than uphill. If one follows natural limitations, it leads to success because you save energy and apply that energy in harmony with the situation.

Yi Jing Hexagram 45Hexagram 60 changes into: Hexagram 45  – Gathering Together

The pronouncement of hexagram 45 is:

The clan gathers together like water filling a mountain lake. Through their collective devotion, the ancestors are honored and become so interspersed with the family that their blessings cannot be dissolved. Coming together brings good fortune. Strong leadership and uniting principles make a gathering possible.

But those who gather must also take great care that protective measures are taken. When people gather in celebration, strife and robbery are likely to occur. It’s important to be watchful and take precautions to prevent such misfortunes. Care needs also be taken within the gathering for vulnerable members of the group may be manipulated by others in the group.

Respectfully submitted,
Gardner Murphy, Abbey Pleviak, and Timaree Bierle-Dodds

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