Browse I Ching Hexagrams
The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching
26: Containment of Potential
28: Excessive Pressure
Nourishment refers to more than just a healthy diet of food; this hexagram represents caregiving as well. Eating properly implies care for oneself; providing healthy meals in the home implies caring for the family. The writer of a great book or the composer of an inspiring piece of music also provide nourishment—to humanity in general—by caring deeply and offering the fruits of their works to the world.
You can know people by observing what they nourish in their own lives. Do they feed and take care of their bodies? Do they cultivate their spirits, their intellects, their moral values? Do they nourish and care for those around them? If so, to whom do they devote their energies? The most successful people are temperate in eating and drinking, thinking and dreaming. They strengthen the world by nurturing their higher self and then sharing it with others.
Pay heed to your thoughts and impulses, ignoring those that undermine a healthy and persevering attitude. A wise person is temperate in the consumption of food and drink, because being otherwise only leads to discomfort and disease. The fact that temporary pleasure may precede discomfort does not influence a person of mature character. In the same way, a wise person is discriminating in word and action, lest a desire for temporary advantage leads to pain for oneself or others. Enrich your character, and you will nourish everyone around you in the best possible way.
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