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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

Keeping Still

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52: Keeping Still

About I Ching Hexagrams Careful Affection

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54: Careful Affection

53: A Steady Pace

Like an ancient forest -- where the subtle play of light, texture and shadows results from a process measured in centuries and inches -- things of lasting value develop gradually, at their own pace. The ability to learn from experience -- one of humanity’s greatest treasures -- implies constant yet very gradual progress. The combination of stillness within and determination without are the essence of this process. Good things can sprout quickly, but the truly delightful take much longer, like a beautiful tree on a mountainside.

The principle of gradual development also applies to relationships. For love, marriage, and other long-term partnerships, the best progress is slow but steady -- slow enough to allow for the bonds to knit properly and steady enough to keep moving in the right direction. A firmly rooted tree has dignity. And, because its roots penetrate deep beneath the soil, it is not easily toppled. Steady development of your depths is what makes sustainable long-term progress possible.

You can’t expect to have everything all at once. Development must be free to take its course; events must neither be rushed nor manipulated, but allowed to unfold in their own natural time. In this way, you will achieve and enjoy long-lasting relationships, as well as success in the world.

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