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I ching

Chin (Progress)

I Ching Hexagram 35
Chin (Progress)

Action: Enlighten

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 39 Obstruction: Innovate

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 5 Nourishment While Waiting: Patience

A foundation without prejudice
is the first step in how the weak progresses.

To regard all things as one,
is to be a companion of Nature. -Chuang Tzu

Reading at a Glance: When a person possesses great power with an ability to sense the seeds of genius in others, expansion is assured. In this way your inner sun or Clarity shines over the earth for others. The hidden influence of Obstruction becomes a lesson in innovation, where obstacles are simply opportunities to learn and grow stronger. The underlying patience developed through Nourishment While Waiting now allows for an opening where you can apply your expanded consciousness. If you are feeling stuck, all that is required is a shift in consciousness since Chin focuses on attitude. The idea of not striving but simply doing is at play. Remove the anxiety and ignite the power of stillness and certainty so you can flow with Tao. You might imagine all sorts of scenarios and outcomes but if your mind is focused on progress and gratitude, the outcome will always be positive. It may be that you accept that whatever happens is always for the best. The idea of innovation is also a cornerstone in this situation. If you explore the many ways that nature achieves innovations through evolution you will see that limitations were its breeding ground for developing strengths. Chin is the image of the sun rising over the earth in expanding brightness and clarity. The morning fog and mists evaporate as you achieve progress through discovering your Tao as a way of illuminating the Tao of others.

Puffin bird


grows by day.

Innate knowledge


as truthfulness.

“Beings do not stay in a state of power. Hence follows progress, which means expansion.” To progress without the outward demonstration of force is how you expand outwardly, by activating 'a power that is sufficient' in any situation. This is true enlightenment.

The master described one of extreme power: “When a drunken man falls from his carriage, no matter how fast it is traveling, he is never killed. His bones and joints are no different from other men, but because he did not know that he was riding, he does not know that he has fallen out.” Unruffled by the changing scenery, power is not a measure of the force that you exert; it is the measure of your connection to the profound germinating power within. "Only when you stop trying, will you discover that you are simply doing." Be natural, that is all.

We tend to measure strength in the same way that we view force. Force moves bodies and is always creating a reaction. If we push on something and cause it to move, we will also be propelled backward by the force we have exerted. Strength is the power of the 'weak' or yielding, when energy radiates without force. Force can exhaust energy, but strength grows exponentially.

If you can become yielding, all energy that is no longer wasted in defending yourself against events out there fortifies strength in here. Becoming supple and strong, you achieve progress.

Strength is not measured in how you overcome others, but in how you overcome yourself. “Those who master others have force; those who master themselves have strength.” Cultivating inner strength, the weak progresses to unprecedented heights in the image of outward expansion.

Once a pupil of Lao Tzu settled in Wei-lei, and hired servants that showed no intelligence and handmaidens who were selfish. The botchy and bloated shared his house; the dithering and fumbling waited upon him. After three years, the crops in Wei-lei began to flourish. The people said, “When he came, we thought him stupidly eccentric but now the day is not long enough to count our blessings.” In time, the people wanted to treat him as ruler, but he refused and said: “When the breath of spring comes, the hundred plants begin to grow and during autumn, we harvest its treasure. So long as the Way works unimpeded, spring and autumn cannot fail at their task.” He was unaware of the discriminations that the townspeople placed on each other. “Spring never fails in its task;” that was all that he observed. Without the need to pass judgment on the things around you, your steadfast virtue and trust in the Way unleashes success where others are crippled by negativity. You tap the seeds of genius in others because you know they are there.

Chin is the image of birds taking flight as the sun begins to rise. It happens naturally, day after day, without great ceremony; it is what they do. The spider portrays the proper relationship to life. They build their web and simply wait for life to bring them nourishment. They do not contend with anything, and are unconcerned with what has not landed on their path.

Tiny seeds too, portray the progressive power of the weak that is accomplished through movement in stillness. It is their nature to grow intricate spikes that will attach to the fur of passing animals. Observing the myriad of ways nature achieves reproduction shows a tapestry created without prejudice.

To follow life, you build your foundation by cultivating whatever unique qualities life has given to you. You can then embrace the wondrous things that life brings to nourish your uniqueness. You have the opportunity to bring light to others in their time of darkness. Regardless of the situation, all things are progressing as they should.


Progress unseen = is still progress. Chin unchanging can show a situation that is stable and growing even while you may not see the progress. Much has been developing underground long before the plant opens its leaves to the sun. Because of this germinating work, the situation can be founded upon stronger roots and a higher level of understanding. It may take some time to work out the kinks of ensuring that the goals of everyone are met. What makes the situation difficult is that you have to recognize progress even in the face of opposition. Because of the opposition, the truth is arrived at and therefore, an opening occurs. You just have to trust the process to arrive at progress. Keep nurturing your vision with optimism while you wait.

Line 1:

Progressing and turned back but don’t lose confidence = no mistake because perseverance brings good fortune. Changes to (21) Biting Through. You seem to be making progress when suddenly you are rebuffed. Perhaps you have not gained the confidence of others or the path is not the right one. Stay calm and persevere anyway with generosity and warmth without frustration or anger. Give the situation time and you will recognize that you will be returned to the proper path. Like a bolt of insight, the obstacle gives you time to look deeper into the situation. Allow others to develop trust in you by remaining kind hearted. This enables you to achieve your desire.

Line 2:

Progressing through sorrow, perseverance brings good fortune = one is favored by the Queen Mother. Changes to (64) Before Completion. The path seems difficult because of a lack of communication. This can lead to sadness but great growth is achieved so persevere because there is a last step to be taken toward Completion. Approaching with sensitivity and feeling leads to happiness because others open. The lack of selfish aims leads to mutual attraction. Great insight achieved through suffering.

Line 3:

All are in accord = remorse disappears. Changes to (56) Wanderer. Previous disagreements or misunderstandings are cleared up through clarification. You need others to succeed in your aims and shouldn’t act independently. You are able to gain the support of others to achieve a cooperative advance. The Wanderer is a message about the need to respect others because you depend on them. It suggests how ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’

Line 4:

Progress like a squirrel = perseverance brings danger. Changes to (23) Split Apart. You don’t have the necessary skills to accomplish something in this situation. If you try to push forward with questionable means you will not succeed. Additionally, your ethics will be in question. There can be manipulative tendencies associated with the situation so step back and identify what is wrong with it. You may be getting into something over your head in an effort to keep the situation from Splitting Apart.

Line 5:

Remorse disappears without thought of gain or loss = undertakings bring good fortune and everything furthers. Changes to (12) Obstruction. The Obstruction presents an obstacle that is not easily overcome. While you may be focused on what is gained or lost, do not worry because everything will work out. There is something more fundamental of value than appearances and another opportunity may be on the horizon. Make a commitment to remain gentle and accepting without thought of failure or success. If it is meant for you the way will open.

Line 6:

Progressing using horns is beneficial but presents danger =, no blame although perseverance in aggression will lead to humiliation. Changes to (16) Enthusiasm. There is a careful balance of how much force is needed in this situation. You may think you need to apply punishment but if you push too hard, it will be you who is humiliated. It may be that you need to curb your own power and be Enthusiastic rather than alienating others by pushing them too hard.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 35 unchanging Hexagram 35.1 Hexagram 35.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 35.2 Hexagram 35.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 35.3 Hexagram 35.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 35.4 Hexagram 35.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 35.5 Hexagram 35.5.6 Hexagram 35.6