With Don's encouragement to yield to the spontaneity of the moment, try your hand at consulting the I Ching. You will need a copy of one of the popular translations from your local library or bookstore. We have already mentioned Richard Wilhelm's The I Ching or Book of Changes and R. L. Wing's The Illustrated I Ching translation was used for the list of themes in the cosmology discussed below (Note 6).

With the book in hand, download and print the I Ching problem solving worksheet (20K) to formulate the concern you would like to present to the oracle. Ask a friend to lead you through the room guided imagery while you yield to the suggestions to identify a question and an object associated with that question. Write the discoveries you make about these in the spaces provided on the worksheet.

Take three coins which have one side that you designate as heads and another as tails. You might use coins that have special meaning to imbue the process with more personal psychic intent. To determine which of the 64 hexagrams matches your question at the moment, identify six successive lines using these rules:

  1. Toss three coins six times in succession:

    • Heads have a value of "2."
    • Tails have a value of "3."

  2. The four possible values are 6, 7, 8 and 9 which are entered in the Value column of the worksheet:

    • Even values (6 or 8) are a yin line:
    • Odd values (7 or 9) are a yang line:

  3. Begin at the bottom and work up entering the Line Pattern in the space provided on the worksheet:

    • The first throw defines the bottom line.
    • The sixth throw defines the top line.

  4. The hexagram is composed of two trigrams:

    • The Lower Trigram lines are listed in the table row headings of the hexagram chart below.
    • The Upper Trigram lines are shown in the table column headings.

  5. Locate your value in the chart and enter it on the Hexagram Number line near the bottom of the worksheet:

i ching table

  1. Find the name and theme of your hexagram in the Cosmology and enter that on the Hexagram Name worksheet line.

  2. If you have any "6" or "9" lines, they are changing. Identify these in the Changing Lines entry on the worksheet. You will read for the changing lines as well as the hexagram.

Reread your Question and Object after you have focused your attention by having a friend lead you through the centering guided imagery. Now read the text for your hexagram from the version of the I Ching you have gotten from the library or a bookstore. Look for insights that jump out as you consider its wisdom relative to your question. If you have changing lines, read those lines also. Over the next couple of days, return to your question and reading to see what new insights surface from your subconscious mind.

Random Meanings

How is it that the random act of tossing coins has meaning beyond their immediate symbols? This appreciation comes slowly when you give more attention to the moment and the exquisite quality that each moment holds. Listening to the surf and watching sunsets helps ease us into the miracle of presence. The fascinating and peculiar quality of each moment slowly seeps into our being.

Every aspect of a moment is inextricably interwoven with every other. But "inextricably interwoven" is not causal, it is interdependent. Indra's web from Hindu mythology suggests such a possibility. But embodying it physically is more challenging for most of us than entertaining it mentally. Many of us are still learning to be what our body always has been – interdependent with all existence.

The rich text of each hexagram captures a fragment of this pattern of existence. Taken together we come to see the sixty–four hexagrams as a cosmology. Their themes cover the fundamental dimensions of human experience regardless of race, nationality or epoch. The wording may vary across culture and time, but the embodied wisdom is ageless. No wonder any one hexagram can render our psychic condition. All possibilities in our being are reflected somewhere in the text of the I Ching.

Letting Go

"Meddling" in our own and others affairs can be the bane of existence. Since most of us spend so much of our lives trying to fix things and people, we may want as well to fix the response of the I Ching rather than sink into and absorb its wisdom. The controlling mind has difficulty with a random procedure. Discovering that the way to live with nature is to leave it alone seems to be a hard won lesson.

The more introspective we become, the easier it is to consult and allow the "advice" of the I Ching to influence our perspective. This influence is more in the way of a change in viewpoint than a change in the actions we take regarding questions posed. But the change in outlook has subtle effects on the actions we take for the issue at hand as well as all future concerns that we confront.

The author's experience using an oracle is discussed in his Memoir. In the Closing the Circle thread, the first two supplements on "meaningful conincidences" and the "psychology of the I Ching" are especially relevant.