5: Patience

A fisherman can cast the line but still can only wait for the fish to bite. Your catch will come in its own good time; you cannot make it come sooner—neither by working nor by planning nor by wishing. Though you may have a need to provide nourishment, it is only through patience that you can become the bridge between the fickle fish and the eventual feast. Strength in a time of trial waits quietly, resolutely. Weakness grows agitated, abandoning the effort before the fish start biting. Periods of waiting are most fruitful when used for quiet contemplation. This is patience.

Proceed cautiously but resolutely, with whatever you are doing. The situation calls for consistency and perseverance. Waiting is an essential skill; patience is a powerful force. Time is an ally for those with inner strength—the strength that allows you to be uncompromisingly honest with yourself while sticking to the path you have charted. If you persevere with a positive attitude, time weakens even the hardest obstacles. To rush anything, or force results, stimulates resistance and causes setbacks. At best, you achieve surface changes that may be reversed just as quickly. Steadfast waiting—holding to your integrity—leads to slow but permanent improvements. In the end, you accomplish something great. Be content to practice patience.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Troubling events may be looming, causing some apprehension. Avoid reacting prematurely; just keep your life in order. Do not try to alter the path that has been set for you at this time. Rest assured that you are heading in the right direction; do not become impatient or greedy. Even though a challenge may be looming, the skillful response is to make preparations, gaining strength for future battles. Let go of anxious thinking. Meditate. Remain open, alert, and prepared.

Line 2

Strife can easily develop now. You may have to tolerate gossip, but in the end, if you remain calm and magnanimous, you will come out well. Things will resolve themselves.
Think of small grains of sand, which accumulate over time to form embankments or dykes across wetlands. Sand is more fragmentary than stone but harder than soil, and can be used to alter the texture of both. Like sand, you must be strong and accommodating even though others may blame you. Avoid being sucked into conflict; remain neutral.

Line 3

You feel stuck—as in mud—and your enemies may be feeling encouraged. You are in an exposed position. Be cautious and considerate in relationships, and be on guard. Be alert to shifting alliances. Such awareness can prevent harm.

Line 4

You may be isolated and in a vulnerable position. Although escape is essential, the only way out is to retain your composure and patience. There is no chance of great success now; survival is the immediate concern. New opportunities will come from the sacrifices you are willing to make. If necessary, keep out of sight in order to avoid direct confrontation. Sometimes, the only honorable course is to accept one’s fate and avoid the humiliation of railing against the inevitable.

Line 5

When the storm hits, it can behoove you to enjoy a glass of wine. In the midst of difficult situations, there often comes a temporary pause; use this interval to fortify your position, not by continuing to dwell on the swirl of events around you but by taking a moment of relaxation. Recharge your batteries by having fun rather than further draining them with worry.
If you are in a leadership position, allow the people on your team the time to take a break and enjoy life, which will increase the pleasure of their work. All work and no play defeats the purpose of work and weakens the commitments of others toward the goal. In personal matters, remember that everything cannot be done at once. If you do not take time for recreation and relaxation today, will tomorrow be any better?

Line 6 (top line)

You may be falling into an abyss—this is a time of difficulty. When all your plans are overturned, it’s best to yield gracefully. Remain cautious and alert; help will be arriving from some unknown corner. Keep an open mind and you will find your way out of your current challenges. And you can learn from the lessons in this situation. If a remedy does not soon present itself, remember: every trial that you survive makes you stronger. Good fortune awaits you.