Hexagram #10 Treading

Even when they tread on a tiger's tail, it doesn't bite people. This is developmental.

EXPLANATION: Treading means forward progress. As for the qualities of the hexagram, above is Heaven ☰ strong ; and below is Lake ☱, joyous, yin is rejoicing in yang; with the advance of one yin, the hexagram will change into pure yang. Representing this, it is therefore called treading. This hexagram symbolizes progression of yang and prevention of danger. The true yang in people is inherent and need not be sought from another. When it mixes with acquired conditioning, true feeling is obscured and arbitrary feelings arise; then true yang runs away outside. This is likened to a tiger running off and staying elsewhere as a member of another house; though it is in another house, originally the tiger is one's own. It is just that people are not willing to call it back.. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #10 Treading, The Taoist I Ching
The way of calling it back is likened to treading on a tiger's tail without it biting people, and having a way of development and growth. A tiger is something that bites people; it is most dangerous to tread on it. If one can tread with harmony and joyfulness, without excessive ferocity, it is like treading on a tiger's tail. If one is careful, as if treading on a tiger's tail, looking ahead and behind, striking a balance without obsession or indifference, proceeding gradually in an orderly manner,
 forestalling danger, aware of perils, carrying out the firing process without error, then the yin can be transmuted into yang, and the yang can be restored to purity. Not only is one not bitten by the tiger — one can even take over the living energy in its killing, and preserve life and being whole. This path of development and achievement without obstruction or hindrance through advancement of yang, treading strongly with harmony and joy, is of great benefit.
-- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #10 Treading, The Taoist I Ching

3rd yin: Able to see with a squint, able to walk with a limp. When they tread on the tiger's tail, it bites people. Inauspicious. A soldier becomes a ruler.

EXPLANATION: If one goes on the Path impetuously, acting on one's own in ignorance, not knowing the medicinal substances, not understanding the firing process, thinking ignorance to be knowledge, thinking incapacity to be ability, that is like seeing with a squint, walking with a limp-treading on the tiger's tail, it will bite; one calls misfortune on oneself. This is also like a soldier becoming a ruler, bringing on disaster. This is treading the Path ignorantly on one's own. 
 -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #10 Treading,The Taoist I Ching

Top yang: Observing the treading, considering what is felicitous, the return is auspicious.

EXPLANATION: Here yang is in the position of flexibility: Observing the firing process trodden, considering the balance of gravity and energy in the medicinal substances, proceeding in an orderly manner, completing the cycle from start to finish, completing the beginning by the end, one aims to reach the merging of yin and yang in complete original wholeness. This is treading the Path consummating the beginning and completing the end. So the path of advancing yang requires flexibility within firmness and firmness within flexibility. It is important that firmness and flexibility balance each other, and one neither rushes nor lags, but is harmonious, joyous, equanimous, and serene. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #10 Treading, The Taoist I Ching

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Hexagram #10 Treading




The trigram Lake

















The Return of the prodigal son by Rembrandt, symbolizing the return of true yang;
the Return of the mind of Tao.
(Click to enlarge)




















Two Kings of light representing strong virtues yang energy; the beginning and the end, the first and last yang. (Unkei school of sculptors, Todaiji temple, Nara, Japan)
Click to enlarge.