K'un (The Receptive)

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I Ching Hexagram 2
K'un (The Receptive)

Action: Reflect

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 2 Receptive: Yield

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 1 Creative: Initiate

Reaction is how you defend the past against the future.

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. – Ovid

Reading at a Glance: K’un calls for a period of patience and reflection. Where you may have been reactive in the past, it is time to learn how to be responsive. Reaction is a defensive position to uphold the known while responsiveness is open to the unknown. K’un encourages you to yield to the way each day is a creative awakening. A sense of openness and the release of clinging to structure and form will be necessary to give birth to this energy. The difference between reaction and response is your ability to use your senses and not the memory mind while observing. Stand in the moment with a sense of openness to what is unfolding without defending the past. Connect with each sense: Are you listening? Are you seeing how life speaks to you? Remove preconceptions and judgment. All things change in time and a period of action, reflected by the underlying cause of the Creative must give way to its opposite: Reflection. Like winter it is time to turn within and reinvigorate your inner world in preparation for a spring time to come. Embodying an open field in any activity – you are called to put your needs aside to serve, open and reflect before acting. K’un’s power of success comes from within. Move into the world from the inside ~ out. The Receptive is the womb holding the energy of attraction by way of intention that requires the development of sincerity and patience.

And in the night,

the moonlike a bow -

plays the song

of the sun.

“The Receptive is in harmony with the boundless; it embraces everything and illuminates everything in its greatness.” K’un is composed of all Yin lines and coaches you to become more still, observant and less reactive. By 'not doing anything' you become a spectator to see how circumstances unfold to guide you.

The master said: “when closely related things do not harmonize, misfortune is the result.” Misfortune is simply how you fight against necessary change. Sometimes K'un can be a message about letting the past go and opening to something new. You may be too attached to what you believe you want, when Tao is bringing you what you need. Look around to see what life is saying to you right now. Pay more attention to your dreams to uncover the profound guidance that comes from within.

When you cultivate a natural response to what unfolds, you react less and observe more. It is often in the things that you cannot change that you discover Tao's power to guide you the most.

Circumstances urge you forward, although reaction is how you defend the past against the future. A natural response means that you respond to life without defending anything.

We may find it odd that mystics deny the reality of the outer world, yet more people deny the immense power and reality of their inner world. Like the time of autumn when all things turn back to be renewed, you are coached to turn inward to reinvigorate your inner garden.

When you compose your inner world and control its gusts and storms, you will discover wellness and harmony in the outer world. Tao prods you forward, but misfortune is how “those who go against the Way are called unlucky.”

If you are searching for direction, you will find it through your dreams, intuition and inspiration. When these inner clues are measured against events, synchronicity will validate your pathway. Be still and have patience so that you may begin to cultivate your personal connection to what unfolds.

There are times to push forward and times to remain still, as you “move inward and outward according to fixed rhythms.” Stand in the moment and observe your reaction to what unfolds around you. When you stop reacting, you will find yourself simply doing, and you can move forward with a new sense of ease and power.

Unchanging: The quiet perseverance of the mare = do not lead, but follow. Without changing lines it is important to be open and acquiesce to others. There is not a lot you can do to change the situation, but your patience and receptivity is all that is required. If you are open and truly interested in serving and not taking, you can make something out of the fertile valley. Like the Creative unchanging, there is potential but it may be blocked for now. The confusion is real and serves the purpose of unleashing a more realistic perspective. Like a deep ravine, emotion is stirring but there may be no way to actualize it. This can happen when a relationship hits an impasse. The feeling is there but it can’t be acted upon for some reason, at least not now. The energy that flows through the openings can suggest that what you think is happening is happening and you want to grasp your desire, but time is just passing by. Trust this time of flowing with something you have no control over. Without a true understanding of your motives, the question can be thrown back at you: “Have you considered where this action would lead? What purpose does your desire serve? Does what you want serve the other person’s interests too? Can you make a commitment and follow through?” Therefore, examine your motives to ensure that you can be receptive enough to proceed. You may be meeting the moment with a lot of plans that won’t have any effect on the outcome, so let them go. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, you may need to simply reflect another’s power and light rather than competing or defending something. It is okay to be vulnerable and to be the valley, or take the lowly position without feeling any sense of failure. Your perseverance will be recognized, and another may be opening to you because of your undying loyalty.

Line 1 Treading on hoarfrost, surely turns to ice = each step solidifies your decision. Changes to (24) Return. It is important to follow your inner drummer but realize that some decisions cannot be undone. Once you take this step, there may be no going back. You may have to go against another’s wishes to take the path you feel is right for you. However, you may Return to face the consequences of your impulsiveness. Observe cycles in nature because if it looks like winter is coming, it probably is. You may have to contend with another’s coldness in response to your actions.

Line 2 Straight through the unfamiliar = speak your heart, it is not a disadvantage. Changes to (7) The Army. Everything unfolds naturally because it feels right and others recognize the value in following your initiative. Your open and honest invitation comes from the heart and is straight to the point. Any illusions or misconceptions are clarified. The situation has elements that you haven’t dealt with before but being truthful can help gain allegiance to your cause. Move forward like a soldier of the heart, unafraid of what you encounter.

Line 3 Keeping the story to yourself = relying on another’s completion of matters. Changes to (15) Authenticity. Acting humbly and working hard allows you to complete the job. You may need to work quietly for the benefit of another without seeking credit. Or, you may need to allow another to complete something prior to moving forward. Eventually success is ensured because you put quality work and integrity above your need for recognition. Authenticity can only develop through interdependency not dependency.

Line 4 Enclosing in a sack = no improvement because one remains closed. Changes to (16) Enthusiasm. Awareness may be too narrow or being fearful, you miss out on the joy of discovery. You may be hesitant about entering a situation where you will gain benefit. There is no reason not to trust events and invitations. Your own attitude and outlook are diminishing the opportunity for joy and fulfillment. Open to the mystery of life without the need to classify the outcome.

Line 5 A yellow lower garment = modest and ordinary so all goes well. Changes to (8) Uniting. Dreams and meditation allow you to tap into a higher sense of awareness. It may seem that ego is here to discover spirit, but witnessing life as spirit is just a shift in perception, an awakening that will connect you to the here and now. Ego understands time as limitation but spirit has a timeless and unbiased outlook. Union suggests two manifestations of one thing, like matter and energy, although nothing is separate. When in doubt about your nature, remember who you were as a child. What is unchanging about you? Be that.Find a way to give it expression to your field of dreams.

Line 6 Dragons fight in the field, their blood is old = fighting for a long time in an incapacitating situation. Changes to (23) Split Apart. The difference between having a response and having a reaction is the ability to listen and not defend your beliefs. Sometimes people defend each other’s differences rather than identify their similarities. The opportunity for renewal in the situation requires a blending of opposite qualities into a higher order. The symbol of 3 in dreams is how an either/or outlook blends to allow for all possibilities. If you want to discover the other person’s value, learn to listen to them. However, there is a limit to what can be done in this situation because the negativity has festered for some time.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 2 unchanging Hexagram 2.1 Hexagram 2.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 2.2 Hexagram 2.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 2.3 Hexagram 2.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 2.4 Hexagram 2.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 2.5 Hexagram 2.5.6 Hexagram 2.6