Recently I was on the AM Northwest TV program here in Portland, talking about the benefits of consulting the I Ching to make better decisions. As Chinese New Year approaches, it is a good time to reflect on your life and goals. Here are some of the benefits of giving yourself an I Ching reading (excerpted from my new eBook, entitled The Visionary I Ching: A Book of Changes for Intuitive Decision Making.)
As a decision-making tool, the I Ching’s outside-the-ego-box perspective helps a conscious person resolve problems and dilemmas that logic can’t handle.
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is a revered intuitive decision-making system, designed not only for insight into current conditions, but for managing change over time. Even though it is thousands of years old, it is one of the most sophisticated divination systems ever devised.
The first interpretations of I Ching patterns were written around 1000 BC, and were expanded on by Confucius around 600 BC. Throughout its long history, the I Ching has been used by Chinese sages, and political and military leaders, as a source of guidance and wisdom, and as a way to assist in strategic decision-making.
We are accustomed to thinking of oracles as human agents, like the Oracle at Delphi or the prophets of the bible — who have psychic powers and intercede with divine intelligence to channel portentous advice.
The I Ching is a system of divination that offers a special advantage, because its use does not require a third-party coming between seekers and their truth. It can be easily learned and used by anyone (see Divination.com for help) as a direct source of wisdom and guidance, a way to stimulate and awaken your own intuitive abilities.
I Ching Benefits
The only thing we can absolutely count on is that things will change — whether we like the ways things unfold or not. In an effort to be harmoniously in sync with the changes that happen, modern experts developed a discipline called “change management.”
The I Ching divination system was humanity’s original change management tool. When it comes to strategic decision-making, the I Ching offer us a way to stimulate our intuition, enhance our creativity, improve our timing and make better decisions.
Better decisions. Good decision-making more than any other factor determines our level of success and happiness in all areas of life. As we face more challenges, or when crises or emotional reactions start to flood consciousness, logical reasoning becomes inadequate, if not impaired. No matter how much information you think you have, it’s normal to have doubts about whether or not you’re making the best decision.
Consulting the I Ching provides direct access to timeless principles. The insights that arise make dilemmas easier to resolve. Additionally, the support provided by the I Ching helps make decisions easier to live with. Stressful situations transform into confidence-building opportunities, and confusing relationship dynamics can take a turn toward greater clarity and understanding.
Mental clarity. The process of consulting the I Ching provides ritual space — a non-emotional mindset to articulate a question, problem or dilemma — in order to achieve greater clarity about what you really want and what it means to you. The simple act of getting clear about a charged issue is a large first step toward its resolution.
Non-attachment and greater objectivity. An I Ching consultation mediates between the reality of your dilemma and a sincere inquiring mind. Just doing the casting ritual will help you create some emotional distance from any problem or concern. The more nonattached you are, the less threatening things appear and the less impact the emotion of fear will have on your interpretation of what shows up in your reading.
You will see things from a wider perspective and become more objective. Skillful nonattachment gives you a powerful advantage in any situation, leading to more creative approaches and better choices.
Focused relaxation. Studies have proven that a calm state of focused relaxation is the best state of mind for intuition and creativity. The I Ching allows you to focus on issues of personal importance with less stress — aligning the conscious and subconscious parts of your mind so that they can coordinate with each other and connect with the spiritual dimension for maximum wisdom and effectiveness.
Clear intuition. The I Ching stimulates the intuition by giving your subconscious a way to produce a pattern. It is your interpretation of the pattern you cast that activates the intuitive sense. There is no need to take the I Ching text literally. Often it hints at things or tweaks you when a new thought or insight just “feels” right. Using the I Ching is not a question of believing in anything. Think of it like a rudder on a sailboat or the nautical steering wheel — slightly imprecise but effective at guiding your vessel through rolling waves of change.
Answers that ring true. To derive benefit from an I Ching reading, all you have to do is be receptive to new thoughts that may arise. It is not necessary to believe in anything. Your interpretation of your reading will either stimulate your intuition and give you a meaningful insight or not. For thousands of years, intelligent people have reported that they find the insights and advice of the I Ching divination system to be amazingly apt.