CHANTING THE I CHING
The I Ching has been considered the first attempt of the mind to place itself in existence. It is an example of the pure logic of duality and its development. It has been a foundation for philosophical, mystical and intellectual development in China for over 3000 years, and in the western hemispheres for 150 years or so. In measuring space and time it has no equal. In understanding change it stands alone in excellence.
When merged with astrology one develops a great sense of time and its relevance. Within the universe of time and space and measurements, the I Ching stands unique. It clearly puts order to the limits of the mind.
It has been used as a divinational tool for personal guidance, as well as a calendar to organize time, and as a tool for metaphysical development.
Chanting reawakens another use for the I Ching. Chanting is a tool or technique for overcoming and turning off the mind. It directly tries to stop mental speculation and conceptualization. When you chant a name of God, God is there. In the Age of Kali or darkness, chanting is considered to be the most direct way to achieve enlightenment.
In fact, this is not unknown to the I Ching, however it is not commonly known. The Buddhist prayer wheel is a good example. In the life of a soul one is pulled out onto the wheel of life and goes out further and further. The further one goes, the less one knows, or in other words, the further away from the centre you become. Without going out of the door, one can know the ways of love. The further one travels, the less one knows. The challenge in the Buddhist Wheel of Life is to return to the centre, and to let go of one’s attachment to the outer forces and desires.
In Hinduism they talk of the nadi which are nerve channels that lead consciousness to the centre, or spokes to the centre of the wheel. Chanting is a tool to bring the consciousness back to the centre rather than running around chasing desires and running into duality. Duality becomes the enemy to overcome. The I Ching seems to be the champion of duality and its repercussions. However, in the east there are many traditions that try to turn the consciousness back into the centre away from duality.
Chanting is one of them. I started chanting the I Ching some 15 or 20 years ago. The process has developed. At first I chanted trigrams, and then I chanted hexagrams. At some point I started to learn to chant them in their proper sequence. I started with the yin and yang single line chants. I gave the name of God “OM” to the yang or solid line. “HARI” was given to the broken line. This gave a convenient one syllable and two syllable words to chant.
A solid and then a broken line are chanted as Om – Hari.
The four bigrams are chanted as Om Hari, Om Om, Hari Om, Hari Hari.
Then there are the eight trigrams that can be chanted in order,
Then there are the sixteen quadragrams that can be chanted in order,
Then there are the thirty-two pentagrams that can be chanted in order,
Then there are the sixty-four hexagrams that can be chanted in order
This has been my daily routine for many years. It preoccupies the mind and turns its direction back to the centre or inwards, where thought loses relevance and meaning. Using duality to undo duality. This is a spiritual way. It purifies the mind and helps one to let go of thought.
“The changes, they are quiescent and neutral, but if stimulated they include all situations under heaven.” Chanting the I Ching brings one to the quiescent essence of being. Hari Om.