Dui, the Lake

What does Dui stand for?


Dui, the Lake

Dui crosses the natural boundary of our self in two ways: from the inside outwardly and from the outside inwardly. From the outside inwardly means that we open ourselves to the outside, to our environment, let us be inspired and ultimately accept and integrate what we encounter. From the inside outwardly invites us to express our innermost to the outside and let it come alive within the world. Both movements are tightly interconnected, just like the rhythm of our breathing: inhaling, exhaling. In the classics of Traditional Chinese Medicine we find the following descriptions for the functional circuit lung (see → King Wen’s “Late Heaven”: lung is associated with Dui):

  • It is the lungs which receive the Qi of heaven and distribute its rhythmic impulses throughout the body. (2)
  • The lung is the main place of exchange. It is in the lungs where the clear energy of heaven, Qing Qi, is absorbed and the turbid energy of man, Zhuo Qi, is excreted. This is done by means of rhythmic breathing. (3)
  • Just as life itself, the lungs are determined by their ability to absorb and release… [it] can only be done because there is a boundary. This boundary – the moment of change – harbors the greatest potential, the largest force… (5)

All quotations with their sources, see → functional circuit lung.


What does Dui emerge from?

Within a hexagram Dui develops either from Sun or Qian (exception: the hexagram begins with DuiDui is the lower trigram). The dark arrow indicate that a (broken) yin line is added to each previous trigram. Yin symbolizes receptivity. Receptivity invites us to open the boundaries of our self.

Dui emerges from Sun, the Wind / Tree

Sun (the wind / tree) stands for strong and consistent growth. Dui represents an opening from the inside towards the outside and from the outside towards the inside. The safe shelter of a pure interior is lifted and we get in touch with our environment. We express what is inside us towards  the outside and allow fresh impulses from the environment to penetrate and touch us: as feedback, inspiration, reality check for own world view.

Examples for hexagrams where Dui emerges from Sun: → here.

Dui emerges from Qian, the Heaven

Qian (the heaven) results from an inner process of growth towards greater personal integrity, coherence and clarity. But while Qian monologues, Dui opens the dialogue: it lifts self’s boundaries and allows the outside, the “you” touch our inside. Result: our self (Qian) becomes alive through animated exchange with the world around us.

Examples for hexagrams where Dui emerges from Qian: → here.

What does Dui develop into?

dui_entwicklung Within a hexagram Dui develops either into Zhen or Li (exception: the hexagram ends with DuiDui is the upper trigram).

Dui develops into Zhen, the Thunder

Zhen develops when a (broken) yin line is added (dark arrow; yin symbolizes receptivity). If we open ourselves towards the exterior, towards our environment (Dui) there will be consequences: a seed will be planted, something within ourselves will begin to resonate with the environment. This resonance will consolidate, will become reply, decision and finally visible for all in resolute action.

Examples for hexagrams where Dui develops into Zhen → here.

Dui develops into Li, the Fire

Li develops when a (solid) yang line is added (red arrow; yang symbolizes energy, activity). We expanded our boundaries and – more or less unconditionally – opened towards our environment (Dui). Li (fire) is the instance that analyzes and distinguishes worldly impulses and separates “the clear from the unclear”. That what has been received in Dui, is now being processed: releasing the useless and integrating the “clear”  into our world view.

Examples for hexagrams where Dui develops into Li  → here.


Phase (Element): Metal Organ: LU

Modern Interpretation

Humility; connectedness, inspiration; individuation; rhythm

Traditional Interpretation

Joy and merriment, idyll, emotional openness, affection, immediacy, being touched; emotional depth; Yang (mental, inside) turns outward (Yin): the enchantress Direction: upwards Interpretation: contact with the world; possibly complacency, seduction, inertia, dangerous depth, emotional entanglement

Read more: the other trigrams 

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