The Yi Jing/Feng Shui course commenced with an introduction to the 8 Palaces method of structuring the 64 hexagrams of the Yi Jing, which all attending student were expected to learn by heart. It proved confusing for a few days, but afterwards most were quite familiar with the hexagrams and their construction. Learning to heart also proved to be valuable, as this level of familiarity allowed students deeper insight into the meaning of each individual hexagram and its use. Each of the 8 Pure Trigrams was then broken down into greater depth by Li Shifu into 26 separate categories relating to how they could be applied to various aspects of life, such as work, family life, disease, geography, stationary objects etc. This helped further the students knowledge and appreciation of the depths that the study of the Yi Jing involved, and that we were really just scratching the surface in this short course. Deeper knowledge of each trigram also increased our awareness of the different interactions possible when the trigrams combine to form hexagrams. We were also introduced to the Pre-Heaven and Post-Heaven formations of the 8 hexagrams, as well as the numerology of the River Map and the Luo Scroll.

Throughout this time, Li Shifu stressed multiple times the importance of the practice of our gong in using the Yi Jing. We were told “寂然不动,感而随通” (Ji Ran Bu Dong, Gan Er Sui Tong) meaning we need to make our thoughts still, stop all bodily movements and get as close to the “zero point” as well possibly can. This will allow us to open our 3rd eyes, and communicate with higher realms which is, in fact, the highest level of the Yi Jing.

We were then taught various divination methods, everything from the classic coin and yarrow stalk castings, to learning how to derive a hexagram from a phone number or a license plate. Many of the student took a very personal interest in the Yi Jing section of the course, as almost every student had a personal hexagram cast relating to their period of study in the temple. These were carved onto a Yi Zi Jing, a small wooden panel worn as a head band. This hexagram represented how each student should pursue their studies while at the temple, what attitudes to take, what parts of themselves needed to be worked on and what path to pursue.

After the Yi Jing section of the course was completed, the Feng Shui began. We were introduced to the Feng Shui compass, and how to use it to read the Dragon Veins (similar to the Western concept of Ley Lines) in order to discover the best direction in which to build a house. However, the primary focus of the short course was on how to use Feng Shui to regulate the health issues of ourselves and others. If other methods of medical treatment did not yield the desired results, the origins of a person’s health problems could lie in their environment, both internal or external. The location of the house in relation to the water, mountains, other building and raised areas around it, the direction it faces, the layout of important living areas etc. can all have an effect on the health of the people dwelling in the abode. These are things that need to be considered in the diagnosis and treatment of all difficult to treat diseases.