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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

Containment of Potential

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26: Containment of Potential

About I Ching Hexagrams Excessive Pressure

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28: Excessive Pressure

27: Nourishment

Nourishment refers to more than just a healthy diet of food. This hexagram represents the care-giving function. Eating properly implies care for oneself; providing healthy meals in the home is one way of caring for the family. The writer of a great book or composer of an inspiring piece of music also provides 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 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 to be otherwise only leads to discomfort and disease. The fact that temporary pleasure may precede the discomfort does not influence a person of mature character. In the same way, be discriminating in your words and actions, lest a desire for temporary advantage lead you to cause pain for yourself or others. Enrich your character, and you will nourish everyone around you in the best way.

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