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The Way Out Is In

 

Hexagram 29 K’an/The Abysmal (Water)

 

“In man’s world K’an represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the
principle of light inclosed in the dark…Water sets the example for the right conduct
under such circumstances… Water reaches its goal by flowing continually…When we
are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately, regardless of
circumstances; at first we must content ourselves with not being overcome by it…A
spring flows sparingly at first, and tarries for some time before it makes its way into the

open…we must wait until a way out shows itself.” 1

 

 

Emerging from my night time journey, I float to the surface of waking life in slow motion. Time has not yet influenced my body, as spirit soars freely—watching. Although we are still in the depths of winter, I feel the first stirrings of spring within.

A restlessness emerges from the dark waters of my soul—lost to an emptiness filled with impatience that aches for things to be different from what they currently are. In this moment I feel trapped by the heart-breaking realities of life on the planet.

I decide to take Impatience and Trapped-ness for a walk. I patiently follow while Impatience leads, and Trapped-ness rides along in my heart. Moving at racer’s pace, my heart devotedly pumps blood to my extremities so that I can keep up. Impatience shows no sign of slowing down. Trapped-ness quietly watches.

“What are you running from, and where are we going?” I wonder out loud. “Anywhere but here.” Impatience mumbles. So we continue on. And on. And on. Until the trail turns into a sheet of ice, causing Impatience to freeze in her tracks.

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Wisdom Has No Name:

A Mythopoetic Healing Story

“I begin to lose my grip. An orange and purple ball of light hangs loosely from the left side of my neck. My neck is tilted to the side trying to hold on. It’s scary. Then the ball moves to the right side of my head behind my right eye- up and around inside my head, down my neck, settling into a pool in my chest- bridging my womb, heart and head where there is now a free channel of communication. My neck feels tingly and open. There is a purple pyramid in my forehead. It is peaceful. A large yellow ball of light in my solar plexus moves up through my neck. The pyramid in my forehead turns into a six pointed star- it is three dimensional and transparent- I am inside of it feeling aligned, open, and peaceful.”

These words come from a healing session (used with permission) of someone who had been experiencing chronic neck pain that had not resolved through various forms of Western medicine and complementary medicine. This experience came about through craniosacral therapy and acupressure with the intention of listening to what the chronic neck pain had to share about what is needed for healing.

Instead of trying to cure the neck pain from the outside in, the inner world was engaged with a spirit of openness and curiosity toward the pain. Wu wei is a term used in Taoism, which roughly translates as doing without doing, or effortless effort. It comes from a stillness and silence deep within one’s own being, and through surrender- the spirit with which one follows the natural unfolding of the Tao without forcing or holding back. Artists, healers and musicians throughout all of time embody the secret of surrender- wu wei- deep listening- spontaneity- of being the hollow reed or hollow bone through which the Tao- the mystery can unfold as a living expression.

In the spirit of wu wei, a whole journey was able to unfold. After this session there was a marked reduction in the neck pain, and an on-going dialogue between the the inner and outer world had begun.

This experience opened up new questions along with new possibilities emerging from the wisdom of the body itself. Listening and following the wisdom of the body is vital and necessary to bringing forth healing and change in a grounded, lasting way.

Instead of taking the metaphors that show up as being literal, concrete and fixed this type of healing asks us to engage in a creative, dynamic, fluid exploration of the unknown and unknowable- unfolding at its own pace, in its own time, in its own way. In this way, we are able to live our way into what is trying to emerge.

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I Ching Hexagram 5 Hsü / Waiting (Nourishment)

Water Above Heaven

“When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until the rain falls. It is the same in life when destiny is at work. We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe.” 1

It is no simple task to wait.

When in the midst of overwhelm, discomfort, and strong emotions it is second nature to want to ‘do’ something. Sometimes immediate action is the necessary and appropriate course of measure. Yet there are times where immediate action would be premature, thus interfering with a larger wisdom trying to emerge. At such times we can use our will to be still and wait, as we open to the greater mystery.

The will is associated with the water element and the zhi spirit and resides in the kidneys. When harmonized, the zhi nourishes the life within us that is associated with our soul’s purpose and is guided by the heart. The heart houses the shen spirit and is related to joy, awareness, compassion, love. Shock and trauma can cause the shen to flee from the heart like birds from their nest. When the shen have left and the zhi is depleted, it is difficult to meet life with vitality, clarity and wisdom. There are ways that one can work with this.

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