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I Ching Hexagram #20:

Meditation

How to interpret "Meditation"

The meaning of this hexagram is meditation and contemplation, but the visual significance is that of a tower with a broad view which enables one to meditate on the wider landscape rather than immediate events. An additional meaning of this tower is that the tower itself can be seen for many miles, suggesting "an example" being set for others. This is a time to reflect carefully on what has gone before, and what is happening now in a broader sense. Decisions made at this time will be witnessed by many.

Changes in Line 1

"A Juvenile Attitude"

This changing line at the base of the hexagram suggests an attitude of youthful idealism characteristic of one who is young and just starting his path. For a young person this is a sign of anticipation, change and experimentation. For an older person this is an unfortunate sign of impending mistakes: Exercise caution.

Changes in Line 2

"Peering From a Doorway"

The limited perspective of a doorway suggests an inability to see the greater picture. Events have forced one's thinking into a small perspective in which tiny issues appear far larger than they are. If one breaks away from such limited perspective, the true relative importance of things will become clear.

Changes in Line 3

"Between Forward and Backward"

This changing line close to the center of this hexagram indicates a place of change and transition. Steps forward or backward are equally possible here. No judgement is made between either direction here, and so the answer ultimately comes from meditation and personal insight.

Changes in Line 4

"Contemplation of the Light"

There are some people who have an unusual ability to perceive the truth and the path to the truth. Such people will always find their way to the truth. To attempt to place boundaries around such people will fail. Trust such a person to find their way. They can be relied on for guidance.

Changes in Line 5

"Contemplation of Life"

This line near the top of the hexagram of meditation is a reminder that through contemplation comes an awareness of one's role in the greater world. In order for one to achieve one's goals and ambitions, one must be willing to look in the mirror and be critical.

Changes in Line 6

"Contemplation of All Life"

This line at the top of the hexagram references meditation in the greatest sense: an awareness of all things, all people and all life. The wisest of people can step back from immediate affairs and perceive the shape of the greater universe. It is through this understanding that the ultimate success can be achieved.


A note on iFate's I Ching translation: This is not a direct translation of the original "Book of Changes" from 1000 BC. While multiple translations of the original text are available, they include many archaic references and can be difficult to understand for 21st century readers. iFate uses our own modern rewritings (two different editions) of the "Book of Changes" which makes interpreting I Ching readings far simpler. For iFate's additional contemporary re-writing of the original text, see our "Love I Ching" translation.

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