Friday, December 21, 2018

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!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

On the Nature of Nuclear Hexagrams

Nuclear Hexagrams are a frequently-misunderstood mystery of the I Ching.  In The Magician's I Ching I attempted to give a brief explanation of how to understand them.  They can be understood as "nuclear hexagrams" because they are the hexagram the exists inside the "nucleus" of a hexagram: the lower trigram of a nuclear hexagram consists of lines 2, 3 and 4 of the original hexagram, and the upper trigram consists of lines 3, 4 and 5 of the original hexagram.

So for example, Hexagram #19:

has as its nuclear Hexagram #24:

I have seen some people mistakenly look at nuclear hexagrams in an I Ching casting as if it was some additional part of the divination process on its own, as if there was some random element to it which contributed to the 'fortune telling' itself. But the nuclear hexagram is static, every hexagram only has a single nuclear (though in the cases of Hexagram #1 and Hexagram #2, they are their own nuclear).
In fact, Nuclear Hexagrams are part of a system of clusters or connections between hexagrams.  On the cover of The Magician's I Ching, you can see this pattern depicted artistically:

The nuclears show you groups of common hexagrams which can be understood to interact in special ways. Their main practical use is for the purpose of contemplating the mysteries and deepening one's understanding of the I Ching as a whole and of the individual hexagrams. The relationship of the hexagrams connected by their nuclear provides important insights.

Let's look, for example, at the hexagrams that have Hexagram #23 as their nuclear:

Hexagram #23 is "Shedding".

In this set of four hexagrams with #23 as their nuclear, for example, you can see the pattern that starts first with the effort of beginning, with Hexagram #3, "challenge":

Then as you build up, it leads to bringing things together, with Hexagram #8 "Union":

 After this, you move to reaching beyond the level of the foundations to be able to discover the greater mastery that is more than the sum of its parts, with Hexagram #20 "Contemplating":

And finally, to the state of making advance to a new level, with Hexagram #42 "Gaining":

So to put it another way, looking at it (for example) in the context of Cultivation: first the initial enthusiasm in the face of a vast undertaking, then the hard work of mastering the basic forms of the exercise, then when that is mastered of understanding what lies beyond the mere technical practice and exploring the essence, and then the genuine growth.

This needs to begin with Shedding (#23); you can almost imagine the "landslide" of Shedding, and following that landslide the tiny sprout of #3 breaking out of the shifted ground, then the hard work of growth, then the bearing fruit, and finally the harvest.
But it is also true that the nuclear governs at each step; as you move from one step to the next there needs to always be a process of shedding off some of what you are doing to make room for the next stage of growth.

In your own I Ching studies, first you need to study and learn the basic meanings of each hexagram by itself. But once you're ready to go deeper, studying the nuclears and the connections between the hexagrams and their nuclears will be of great use for developing a larger understanding of the greater mysteries of the I Ching.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Taoist Secret of Longevity, a new Book, and a Newsletter

In my latest video, I talk about the real Taoist secret of longevity, and how people are always looking for the wrong king of longevity.

Also, I read a chapter from The Path and The Power, my new interpretation of the Tao Te Ching.

Also, take note of my newsletter sign-up, where you will be able to receive a monthly update of my teachings. It's free to sign up, and anyone who does will receive a free PDF of The Path and the Power!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hexagram #12 and the Mulberry Buds

After posting the video commentary to Hexagram #12, where I had recited the text of the hexagram as it appears in The Magician's I Ching, someone presented me with an interesting question:

"What happened to the roots of the mulberry tree in line 5? Anyway, I am surprised that your version is so much different from the original text, that's all."

I felt that it was important to present an answer to this, for those who are students of the Yi Fa Society or readers of my book.

For a start, line five, in the original text, doesn't refer to any 'roots'. It refers to the flower-buds of the Mulberry tree. This is a reference to fortune, patience, and constancy.

So for those who know what the reference to the mulberry tree means, the meaning is in the line I quoted. For those who don't know what the reference to the mulberry tree means, the meaning is in the line I quoted.

"Bao" refers to the calyx or bud of a flower. Xi in this case (to tie) refers to a silkworm, which will make its cocoon next to the flower bud of a mulberry tree.

In other words, it is a stuckness that must be done, to follow one's true will. When the flower bud unsticks, naturally, in the flowering moment, then the silkworm's cocoon opens as well, and the silkmoth will be freed. The Superior individual must remind himself constantly, to create constancy and patience, to bring an end to corruption.

As far as the absence of the analogy in the text, the questioner actually gives a perfect example of why I kept it out. Trying to explain this analogy which is so out of western culture would have required too much room for this type of text, and leaving it as it was for some kind of academic precision in the blind dumb service of sinology would only have created something impractical for actual use for most readers.

Again, those who UNDERSTAND the meaning of the mulberry in this line would understand the line as I wrote it. Those who don't know the existence of the symbol would receive the meaning without the symbol present, and avoid confusion. The only ones who would be distressed by the line as I presented it are people who know, but do not understand.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The I Ching, Reality and Rules For Living

There is no one formula for what to do in life.
But there is a path to work out what to do in each moment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How Do You Develop Wisdom?

There is a common misconception that age brings with it wisdom.  That is not true. Even experiences are useless to wisdom, without consciousness. There are great many people in the world who are no wiser at 80 than they were at 18.
Someone who lives an unexamined life is a child forever.

So what does develop wisdom?

It is true that Time brings wisdom. But this requires not just to go through time without any consideration. You have to understand and consider time.
Considering the nature of time and one's place in it and going through it is one part of the process to develop wisdom.  This is part of what is developed through the study of the I Ching.

But this alone is not enough.

There are three other factors that are essential to the development of wisdom:
The first is an attention and awareness of your Self. Most importantly, recognizing your own imperfections. It is through time that we can measure these imperfections, so that we can work on them, and through time track our improvement.

The second is the Will. Will is the raw determination to change yourself. Self-inquiry is useless if you consider yourself but make no effort to transform yourself.

The third is concentration, Attention. This is only available through disciplined training. If you practice discipline in developing your ability to be actively conscious, the Will can then be accurately applied.

Without an understanding of time, you cannot measure the self.
Without the will, you cannot take action to transform.
Without concentration, you cannot apply the will effectively.

If you  have all of these, you can know how and where to work on yourself, and take note of your ability to change. This is how you develop wisdom.