Ming Yi ~ Brilliance Injured

I spent quite a lot of time on the beaches of Long Island when I was a child and teenager. I loved to stand at the tide line and feel the ocean pull away the sand under my feet each time a wave returned to the see. It was a game to see how long I could stand there until so much of the foundation was gone that I lost my balance.


In recent conversations with friends and colleagues on the path of awakening, I see that many of us are in a state of change and uncertainty. Truths that we could count on feels like that sand slipping away under our feet as the tide goes out. We’re losing our balance – and yet – if we simply take a few steps, we’ll find a new foundation.

But … what steps to take?

Today I felt called to throw the I Ching to ask for guidance for those of us who are committed to our spiritual awakening to heal, not just ourselves, not just our family and friends, not just our clients, but to bring the world and all her beings back into wholeness.

Ming Yi is translated by Taoist Master Alfred Huang as Brilliance Injured. It is the 36th hexagram with Li (fire) below and Kun (earth) above.

Before I get into Huang’s interpretation, let me share my own intuitive sense of this reading. The primary guidance here is that our brilliance has been injured and moving forward without healing that injury will not bring us to the destination we desire. Brilliance is our innate nature, we are Light, we are Being of pure energy. Here on Earth, we have slowed down our vibrational frequencies so that we appear to be solid and material. That seeming is only one, limited, aspect of our true self.

We’ve bought into that lie. That we are nothing more than skin and bones, flesh and blood. We dig, and prod, and poke, and cut open and we cannot find a soul anywhere. That’s because the entirety of this body is our soul … and then so much more. We are BodyMindSpirit – as a complete and integrated entity. We are not separate within ourselves – and we are not separate from one another.

As long as we believe the lies of our limitations, our access to our natural brilliance is injured. The brilliance remains but our ability to be it, to live it is where the injury lies.


The second guidance that I receive here for those of us who are feeling our foundations slipping away is that the fire is burning below the earth. Think of a quiescent volcano. Not extinct, not dormant, active but not spewing lava at this moment.

When we get in touch with our brilliance, we are also in touch with the fire of Life. As you heal the injury to your brilliance, you must also heal your fear of the fire of Life. Are you ready to handle that power? What do you need to do to create a container to use that power safely?


Master Huang tells us:

By proceeding, one is taking a risk, even risking injury. When one’s brilliance is injured, it forces one to hold back, nurse one’s wounds. It is then favorable to proceed further.

The structure of the gua is Earth above, Fire below – a picture of the setting sun. The brightness of the sun is hidden by the Earth. Darkness envelopes more and more, representing a situation of hardship … when King Wen was imprisoned by the Tyrant of Shang, he was bright within and gentle without … hiding his brilliance and biding his time in dealing with an extremely difficult situation … to the ancient sages only the bright and the gentle could overcome the dark and the unyielding. Only the wisest and the strongest could appreciate this virtue and cultivate it.


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