Thursday, December 21, 2017

What is the Yi Fa Society?

The Yi Fa Society is a "Secret School" founded on ancient formulas for the teaching of a complete system of inner alchemy.  It provides a complete curriculum of training taught over various levels, with both practical and philosophical teaching material.  It utilizes a complete system of Qi Gong (Yi Fa Qi Gong) for the cultivation of consciousness, and trains its members in the secrets and symbolic language of the I Ching. Its 8-level curriculum allows students to progress in understanding and self-transformation.

The structure of the Yi Fa Society emerged from a series of revelations which came as a result of a twenty-year study of the I Ching.  The I Ching is the foundational text of all Chinese spirituality; a three-thousand year old book that has been in continuous use since its creation, the oldest book of such kind in the world.   Used by most as a mere fortune-telling device, sages throughout history have understood it to contain a profound system of metaphysics, and the keys to understanding reality itself.   It also contains within it a system for personal transformation through a process of "inner alchemy".

The I Ching provides the symbolic basis of the system of meditation and inner-alchemy known as Qi Gong, but this too has usually been misunderstood by laymen as a mere system of health-exercises.  Thus, the Yi Fa Society has designed a new set of Qi Gong practices, known as Yi Fa Qi Gong, which are meant to use the principles of the eight elements (the four celestial and four terrestrial elements) to establish a progressive set of teachings by which its members can develop inner transformation, leading to what the I Ching refers to as the emergence of the "Superior Individual", the higher or true self, through the establishment of the True Will (that is, our fundamental natures).

The Yi Fa Society's system of teachings are done in eight levels, each of which provides a graduated series of secret practices and teachings that build on the former levels. It is not tied to any specific religious teaching, but rather to the perennial philosophy of enlightenment; although it makes use of symbols and concepts that have come into common use in Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism (as all three were influenced by the symbolism and philosophy of the I Ching).

Where to Begin?

If you are interested in joining the Yi Fa Society, please contact me here, on Facebook, or Google+ to receive an application form.  Likewise, please write if you have any questions.

The foundation of the Yi Fa is found in the I Ching.  This book provides the foundation for the entire Yi Fa curriculum, and while there are many worthwhile versions of the I Ching in publication today, the specific teachings of the Yi Fa are best expressed in the book "The Magician's I Ching", where the teachings of the I Ching as a system of divination, decision making, and tool for transcendence are explained in straightforward terms specifically designed for western readers, and for those who plan to actually use the I Ching as a system for self-transformation.

(if you are interested in joining the Yi Fa Society and working its curriculum, which is a complete system of esoteric training, please contact me!)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Understanding Incipiencies

Sometimes great change, disaster or windfall, appears to happen suddenly.

This is an illusion of perception.

The moment where change seems to be happening with great speed is in fact long after the seeds of that change were planted.

The sage can look back and see many conditions, little developments, without which that great change could never have taken place.

All change actually starts with a series of smaller incipient events; often these will not even resemble or seem to have anything to do with the great change they can lead to.

Thus, the skilled practitioner can learn how to observe these earlier conditions, and make great changes eventually happen (or prevent them) with very little effort.

This is the power that a profound study of the I Ching grants: to be able to see the process of time, and how to change things before they happen.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I Ching Commentary - Hexagram #10 "Stepping"

Here is the youtube video for the newest in my commentaries on the I Ching, on the subject of the 10th Hexagram, "Stepping".

Members of the Yi Fa Society get access to additional I Ching video and text commentaries that go into more depth on the symbolism and divination uses of the I Ching's Hexagrams. If you are interested in joining the Yi Fa Society, please get in touch.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The I Ching Teaches us That Reality is a "Doing"

The I Ching's cosmology suggests a reality that isn't a structure of 'things'. It is not a universe of things 'being', it is always a universe of things 'doing', of the interaction of elements.

In the West people tend to imagine that Reality is a noun, rather than a verb. That may be because of the self-referencing perspective; if something is a static object, rather than a moving process, it is easier to define, and to control.

Something static can be more easily controlled. You put a solid cube in one corner of the room, it will stay there. It won't move on its own at least. You can turn it on one side, it'll stay on that side.
On the other hand, it takes a lot of work (energy) to break that cube, or burn it, to make it move or to shape it into something other than a cube.

Static things are easy to control, hard to manipulate.

On the other hand, if you understand reality as a "doing", a constant interplay of the 8 elements that make up the world of 10000 things, then it is much EASIER to manipulate.

Creating change is much less difficult than the illusion of solidity makes it look.
But it is much HARDER to control, than our notion of a static reality leads us to think.
You can alter the course of the river, but you can't just force it into a fixed route forever, make it stop flowing forever, or much less make it change the direction of its flow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

An Explanation of The Generation of Changing Lines

In the system of the yarrow method of I Ching casting, when you have two small piles of yarrow and one large pile, that is a Yin line (the Yin being the 'small' piles), and when you have two large piles and one small pile, that is a Yang line (the Yang being the 'large' piles).

So some students of the I Ching have expressed confusion as why three small (yin) piles would be a Yang changing into Yin, or conversely three large (yang) piles would be a Yin changing into Yang.


Imagine the image of the Taiji:

It is Yin and Yang, intermingling. Within the yin there is a centerpoint of yang; and within the yang a centerpoint of yin.

So at the very core of Yin is the most yin of anything possible; it is so overflowing with yin, that it takes on the nature of Yang.
Likewise at the very core of Yang is the most yang of anything possible; it is so overflowing with yang that it takes on the nature of Yin.

The former is in fact Yang that is inevitably transforming into Yin, that is the only direction it can go.
Likewise, the latter is Yin that is inevitably transforming into Yang.

So this is why in the casting, when you have three small (yin) piles, it is manifested as a Yang that is becoming a Yin.
And when you have three large (yang) piles, it is manifested as a Yin that is becoming a Yang.

That is the reason.
And the reason is reflected in the probabilities of the casting method, because these forces are not equal in nature; in nature Yin is more stable, so it is less common for Yin (the stable but weak) to become Yang (volatile but strong), than for Yang (strong, but volatile) to weaken into the more stable Yin.

"Weak but stable" are the valleys of space-time, "strong but unstable" are the peaks.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tips on Interpreting the I Ching

The standard method of interpreting an I Ching casting is to cast the hexagram, read the main description of the hexagram you get, read the changing lines, and then read the resultant hexagram.  Many I Ching students put little thought into the matter beyond that.

But if you want to consider ways of reaching deeper understanding of the I Ching, there are more ways to work on it. 

Forgetting the resultant hexagrams for a moment, any given hexagram by itself has two means of interpretation: looking at each line in isolation, or looking at the lines as a 'story' being told, representing a progress of the overall theme dealt with in the hexagram. And as you study them, they can be 'read' in order, from one to six; where generally one is what happens even before the very start, two the real start, three the big challenge, four the further challenge, five the epic climax, and six is the denouement or epilogue.

So, when you bring in resultant hexagrams to the analysis it makes sense that both of those would also be applicable.

In actual casting, changing lines signify a couple of things. The overall number of changing lines represents the 'mutability' of the whole situation. A hexagram with many changing lines has a much more powerful "current" of change than one that has only one or two; that's why if you have four or more changing lines the diviner is advised to consider some part of the RESULTANT hexagram to be the 'central point' (ie. the present) of the casting; because it is incredibly difficult for the force of change to be overcome at that point.
Which specific lines are changing represent the points in the hexagram that are significant as 'mutable', things you can change, things you can do something about.

So what does this say in terms of understanding the six lines as a 'story'?
That they are a story in theory, in the way that a novel or a fairy tale is a story, one that is archetypal, neat and tidy, and almost never 'like that in real life'.
In a casting, you have to see a different story, a much messier one, composed of only those lines that are Changing.  So you can think of the six lines as a whole as a kind of 'big story' that cover all kinds of things that CAN happen related to theme; but in real life incidences only some of those parts actually DO happen as the story of the real events related to the question that was asked.

In any case, there's no question that the changes are all about Time.
However, another way to look at these resultant hexagrams is to think of them as being about Choices, because all of Time is just a product of cause & effect; and in an actual casting, the Changing Lines represent those flexible branching-off points in time where it is possible for some kind of choice to be made that affects the course of the future.

If you're interested in further conversations, teachings and insights on the I Ching, please check out the Magician's I Ching Facebook Group!

And if you are interested in a structured system of study, please get in touch about joining the Yi Fa Society.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Video From Toronto Workshop

This is a video with some details and tips on Qi Breathing practice, presented to people who participated in the Toronto workshop:

If you are interested in more advanced teachings and working in a curriculum of spiritual development, please contact me about joining the Yi Fa Society.