Hexagram 3



Difficulty at the Beginning


Other titles: Difficulty at the Beginning, The Symbol of Bursting, Sprouting, Hoarding, Distress, Organizational Growth Pains, Difficult Beginnings, Growing Pains, Initial Obstacles, Initial Hardship


If we persevere a great success is at hand.

The literal translation of “chun” is “a blade of grass pushing against an obstacle as it sprouts out of the earth.” Receiving this hexagram is a sign that beyond the difficulties and pressures that surround you, a success lies waiting. In order to bring it fully into the light, you must be patient and persevere in nonaction.

No matter how fervently one desires to resolve a situation, to intervene impatiently now will only hinder the progress of good fortune. Accept and bear with the discomfort of chaos without attempting to push it away. Allowing it to clear of its own accord, in its own time, is the only way of insuring a subsequent blossoming of success.

Hold to proper principles. In your actions, seek and respect the counsel of the Sage. Allow those whose hearts are true to assist you wherever possible; be tolerant of all others. In this way the blessing that now lies hidden will come into the open.

A difficulty at the beginning. Do not push aggressively, but do not give up. Accept the help of the Sage.

A solution presents itself. While relief would be welcome, undesirable obligations may be created. Wait patiently for a solution that is correct in every particular.

Do not act on your own. Seek the advice of the Sage and remain patient until the path is clearly shown.

An effort at union, made in humility and sincerity, and faithful to the principles of the Sage, will meet with good fortune.

Darkness distorts your light. Avoid attempting to force a completion. Go slowly, methodically, and with quiet balance.

Negative emotions tempt you to abandon your efforts. It is the greatest misfortune to do so. Hold fast to truth, and persevere.


Legge: Difficulty indicates progress and success through firm correctness. Action should not be undertaken lightly, and it is wise to seek help.

Wilhelm/Baynes:Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success, furthering through perseverance. Nothing should be undertaken. It furthers one to appoint helpers.

Blofeld: Difficulty followed by sublime success! Persistence in a righteous course brings reward; but do not seek some new goal (or destination); it is highly advantageous to consolidate the present position. [The fundamental idea of this hexagram is that of birth and growth amidst difficulty, as with a sprouting seed becoming a young plant and forcing its way through the earth. Our affairs, being still in their early stages, are vulnerable; we must not wander forth, but attend to them until they ripen; then, with proper care, the seed will bring forth a splendid tree. The upper trigram, a pit, suggests a need for caution; but, if we heed these omens, our success is assured.]

Liu: Difficulty in the Beginning : great success. It is of benefit to continue without planning to go someplace. One should find helpers.

Ritsema/Karcher: Sprouting . Spring Growing Harvesting Trial. No availing-of possessing directed going. Harvesting: installing feudatories. [This hexagram describes your situation in terms of beginning growth. It emphasizes that collecting potential in preparation for arduous labor is the adequate way to handle it…]

Shaughnessy: Hoarding: Prime receipt; beneficial to determine. Do not herewith have someplace to go; beneficial to establish a lord.

Cleary(1): In difficulty, creativity and development are effective if correct. Do not use. There is a place to go. It is beneficial to set up a ruler.

Cleary(2): Creativity is successful. It is beneficial to be correct. Do not make use of going somewhere. It is beneficial to set up lords.

Wu: Distress is primordial, pervasive, prosperous, and persevering. The subject should proceed with caution. It will be advantageous to establish marquisates.


Guide to the I Ching – Hexagram #3: Challenge


As part of the series on the I Ching, some commentary additional to that found in my book, The Magician’s I, Ching, on the topic of the 3rd Hexagram of the I Ching.

If you are interested in participating in the Yi Fa Society training program, please get in touch.

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What Is the Relationship Between Awareness and Attention?


A man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis asks about the relationship between attention and pure consciousness.
From the weekend in Amsterdam 2018. For access to the full recording, see the link: https://non-duality.rupertspira.com/w…










Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

We believe that these village schools are the only hope for Tibetan nomadic culture to remain alive. Our students can study close to their families and the earth – absorbing the precious traditional knowledge while complying with governmental policy. We support our youth to become successful, creative, thriving nomads or whatever they want to be. Many of our graduates take vows upon completing school, becoming monks and nuns, and others go on to become teachers and doctors.

Each school has two local cooks that make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the students and teachers. Some of the food comes from our very own greenhouses.

Tibet is not only a spiritually sacred land, it is also an area of great ecological importance. The Plateau is the source of most of Asia’s water and hosts numerous endangered species. Having built a culture that is in balance with nature, Tibetan nomadic communities have lived in an ecologically sustainable way for centuries.

 However, as temperatures rise and glaciers melt, Tibetan nomads are left with fewer and fewer grasslands on which to graze their animals. Nomadic culture is now not only threatened by globalized consumer culture, but it is also endangered by climate change.

The Pureland Project is a grassroots development project that began in 2005 when villagers in Kham, in eastern Tibet, expressed concern regarding the sustainability of the four elementary schools founded by Garchen Rinpoche in 1998. The schools had been growing, and sponsorship had dwindled.  These nomadic families begged that the schools remain open so their children could become literate and have a better chance to survive in Chinese society, quickly encroaching on their simple and beautiful way of life.

The schools empower the children with knowledge of 3 languages (Tibetan, Chinese, and English) plus Math, Science, and P.E.  We offer three meals daily along with books, clothes, soap, and toothbrushes.

We intend to support traditional nomadic lifestyles and to give value to indigenous knowledge systems while offering the skills students need to pursue higher studies and follow their dreams.

Gargon School

GARGON has been a historically significant site ever since the 8th century when Yogini Yeshe Tsogyal sat on a retreat in a cave above the village. The cave still holds tremendous energy and sits above the newly renovated upper monastery (YarGon), where Gar Mingyur Rinpoche resides with his 70 monks. The lower monastery (MarGon) was originally built in the 12th century and is now predominately a place of practice for lay practitioners (ngakpas), under the guidance of Garchen Rinpoche.

There are about 700 semi-nomadic community members. This is the first generation of youth to attend formal schooling, and it has been especially difficult for the families of young girls who depend upon their daughter’s labor to survive. Yet Rinpoche has made it clear that going to school will have beneficial effects, so today, around 95% of youth attend the village school, and about 70% of the graduating students continue to middle school. The others will continue their studies in the monastery as a monk or at home as a nomad. This August, 55 children enrolled for the 1-6 education provided by four private and two government teachers. Each day, three school meals are provided to all students, many of whom would otherwise be severely malnourished. Due to the severity of poverty in the region, there are high stunting rates, anemia, and maternal and infant mortality. Vegetables from the school greenhouse program are served to the students. Properly nourished, the children now test competitively against public school students in all subjects, especially Tibetan.

Gyalsum School

GYALSUM is a school for four different villages. With approximately 700 people, the school has enrolled 99 1-3rd graders. Unfortunately, this year the government took the 4th grade to the Kyichu district center, Waka (approx. 1hr. by motorbike). The government has told us for years that they would like to close the private schools, yet since our students perform well and our teachers are doing a decent job, they have no reason to shut our doors. But slowly, the children are being taken and educated in Chinese medium government schools, which don’t allow the children to access any traditional knowledge. We must raise funds for Gyalsum so that it may stay open. A fence and a toilet are needed immediately. Although Tibet Aid sponsored the building of a teacher’s dormitory and a teacher’s lounge just in 2008, as the school grew, the need for more classrooms and dormitories became necessary.

Pureland Project promotes physical and spiritual well-being by recognizing human interdependent relationships with nature. We leverage best practices to support Tibetan nomads in Tibet and spread their wisdom to the Western world. We aspire to support sustainable living practices in Tibet & the Americas utilizing the ancient Buddhist principles of Purblind Meditation.

Who We Are:

The seed for The Pureland Project was planted in 2005 when Meg Ferrigno moved to Tibet to serve Garchen Rinpoche’s school projects. Speaking with fellow teachers and villagers, they formed ideas for the project. In 2011 The Pureland Project was granted 501c3 status; in 2012, Ahimsa House opened its doors in Philadelphia.​

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche is a highly realized Tibetan Buddhist master from Nangchen, Tibet. After spending 20 in prison during the cultural revolution, he was brought to America to establish a center in Arizona. In 1998 upon returning to his homeland, Rinpoche built four schools at the villagers’ request. Rinpoche has dedicated his life to the benefit of all beings. Rinpoche encourages his students to donate to his Tibetan homeland through the Pureland project.








On this sacred full moon day commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana (death), we are sending prayers for your well-being and happiness.

Today in Tibet is a special day for remembering the practices of wisdom, discipline, diligence, generosity, patience, and meditative concentration. I am blessed to be in Gargon, at Garchen Rinpoche’s monastery, to celebrate this holiday and offer prayers with the community. You are all included in our prayers. I have distributed the annual salaries to our teachers, cooks, doctors, and elders, who keep you in their prayers, especially on these holy days.

Thank you all for your kindness.

Love from the Pureland,

Pureland Project

Sagwa Dawa Tashi Delek Shu