Dui, the Lake

What does Dui represent?

Dui symbolizes openness: for connection, expression, and impression, for touch. Dui enables us to transcend the natural boundary of our self in two ways: firstly, by opening ourselves to the outside, to our environment, and allowing it to inspire us, ultimately accepting and integrating what we encounter. Secondly, by expressing our inner selves outwardly, offering ourselves to the world and becoming alive in it.

Finding our own Harmonious Rhythm

Both movements, inward and outward, are intertwined. They depend on each other, similar to the rhythm of our breath. It is as impossible to only inhale and receive as it is to solely exhale and give from within. Inward and outward motions should correspond to one another, be of similar magnitude or strength, as otherwise, we may face distress.

We must find our own rhythm,our own healthy rhythm that suits us. And that is indeed a challenge because the world follows its own rhythm: sometimes it overwhelms us, sometimes it remains silent. How can I maintain my balance in the face of these fluctuations?

Experiencing Ourselves in Touch

Yet another aspect is addressed through the rhythmic crossing of boundaries: encounter and touch. When we come into contact, we encounter what we are not. We are referenced by this otherness – the world, the other – and all of it holds the potential to inspire, nourish, and support us. Or, alternatively, to overwhelm, oppress, and suffocate us.

In Dui, we open our boundaries and allow ourselves to be touched. Thus, we have the opportunity to perceive our own boundaries, to feel ourselves in this touch. In the experience of touch, in encounters, in experiencing what we are not, through the contrast of the unfamiliar.

In the King Wen’s Later Heaven, Dui is associated with the functional circuit of the Lung (LU). In the classics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, various descriptions can be found that make the characteristics and special abilities of this functional circuit tangible: Phase Element Metal: Lungs.

Following the Path of the Dao: Realizing my Boundaries

In the model of Follow the Path of the Dao, Dui belongs to the landmark points. In Dui, movement arises when a receptive yin line follows pure yang (two (Sun) or three (Qian) yang lines). This allows pure yang to enter the world and experience itself.

Questions in the context of self-exploration could be as follows:

  • Am I aware of the boundary? The boundary between me and you? Where exactly does it lie?
  • Do I maintain my sense of self in your presence? At what point do I start to lose myself?
  • Am I in equilibrium with my openness? Do acceptance and giving hold equal importance for me? Or do I tend towards one side, is there an imbalance?
  • How does the imbalance between giving and receiving manifest within me? When does it become especially significant? When or how do I become aware of this imbalance?

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 symbolizes an opening from the inside towards the outside and vice versa. The powerful, harmonious growth (Sun) emerging from within us encounters the outer world in Dui. What has been developing from deep within us, now makes contact and becomes visible to all. It touches the environment and creates… resonance.

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

Dui emerges from Qian, the Heaven

Qian, the heaven, emerges through an internal process of growth toward greater personal integrity, coherence and clarity. However, while Qian monologues, Dui opens the dialogue by lifting the barriers of the self and allowing the outside world, the you, to touch our inside. As a result, our authentic self (Qian) comes alive through dynamic interactions with the world around us.

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

What does Dui develop into?


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, the thunder, 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 is planted, something within us starts to resonate with the environment. This resonance intensifies, transforming into a response, a decision, and eventually becoming evident to everyone through determined action.

Examples of hexagrams where Dui develops into Zhen → here.

Dui develops into Li, the Fire

Li, the fire, emerges when a (solid) yang line is added (red arrow; yang symbolizes energy, activity). We have expanded the boundaries of our self and opened ourselves to the environment, to some extent without reservation (Dui). Li is the instance that can discern the world and separate what is clear from what is unclear. This is how it can guide our own openness and later process and integrate what was received as valuable and clear in Dui.

Examples of hexagrams where Dui develops into Li  → here.


Phase Element: Metal
Functional Circuit: Lung (LU)

Modern Interpretation

Openness, touch, acceptance; 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

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