I Ching Hexagram 3 CHUN

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What is Hexagram 3?

'Difficulty at the Beginning', represented by K'an (rain) and Chên (thunder) in the I Ching, signifies the challenges of new ventures. It highlights perseverance against early obstacles as key to success. This hexagram advises caution over haste, encouraging guidance seeking, patience, and obstacle awareness. Embracing these challenges as growth opportunities can yield rewarding outcomes and personal development.

Consult the I Ching 3 - hexagram 3 Difficulty at the Beginning

I Ching Hexagram 3 - Difficulty at the Beginning

Perseverance in the face of setbacks is key to success. Accept setbacks and failures as a natural part of the journey towards your goals.


Represents challenges at the start of a venture. The Judgment reads: 'Supreme success comes through perseverance despite initial difficulties.'


Two powerful trigrams, K'an (rain) and Chên (thunder), symbolise new beginnings' chaos. During these uncertain times, avoid hasty actions and seek guidance from a higher power. Difficulties are wake-up calls that can lead to growth and success. Perseverance, hard work, and awareness of potential obstacles are crucial.

Line 1

Stay steadfast and persistent when facing initial obstacles. Seek guidance from those with wisdom and adopt a measured approach to gain insights and solutions.

Line 2

Exercise patience when considering a solution to a problem. Avoid hasty decisions and wait for the right path to present itself.

Line 3

Seek the guidance of a higher power instead of acting alone. Cultivate an open mind, avoid rushing into action, and trust the answer will come in due time.

Line 4

When difficulties arise, strive for unity with the guidance of the Sage. Remain humble and faithful to the principles of the Sage to move forward. Follow the truth and do what is correct.

Line 5

Maintain a steady and balanced approach when facing difficulties. Move forward slowly and methodically, building confidence by staying centred and patient. Navigate difficulties with steadiness and detachment.

Line 6

In times of discouragement, hold fast to truth and persevere. Recognise that doubts and moments of discouragement are natural, but succumbing to them leads to defeat. Trust in your journey and stay true to your path.

Unveiling the Wisdom of Hexagram 3: A Guide to Personal Transformation

Dive into the ancient teachings of I Ching Hexagram 3, known as Difficulty at the Beginning or Chun, to uncover its profound wisdom for self-improvement, personal growth, enlightenment, and awakening. This exploration is not just an academic exercise; it's a practical journey into integrating timeless truths into our contemporary lives, fostering deep personal transformation and a richer understanding of our personal journeys.

Core Insights

Essence of Hexagram 3

Hexagram 3, Difficulty at the Beginning, symbolises the challenges and uncertainties that arise at the start of new ventures. It represents the chaotic energy that must be organised and the need for patience and perseverance in the face of obstacles.

Historical Wisdom

Historically, this hexagram has been a source of guidance for navigating the tumultuous early stages of any undertaking. It teaches the value of careful planning, adaptability, and the acceptance of initial setbacks as part of the growth process.

Personal Growth and Self-Improvement

Reflective Questions

  • What new beginnings am I facing, and what challenges come with them?
  • How can I cultivate patience and resilience in the face of these challenges?
  • Where might I need to adapt my strategies or expectations to better align with the current reality?

Actionable Insights

  • Embrace a mindset of learning and growth, viewing challenges as opportunities to develop resilience and wisdom.
  • Identify small, manageable steps to navigate the initial chaos of new ventures, focusing on steady progress rather than immediate success.
  • Seek guidance and collaboration when faced with obstacles, recognising the value of diverse perspectives in overcoming difficulties.

Path to Enlightenment

Mindfulness Practices

Practice meditation that focuses on embracing change and the natural cycles of beginnings and endings. Reflect on the transient nature of obstacles and the growth they bring.

Philosophical Reflections

Contemplate the necessity of challenges in personal evolution and the ways in which 'Difficulty at the Beginning' serves as a catalyst for development and transformation.

Awakening to Life’s Mysteries

Transformational Stories

Share stories of personal or historical figures who navigated significant challenges at the outset of their journeys, highlighting the lessons learned and the strengths gained through these experiences.

By delving into the wisdom of Hexagram 3, we learn to approach life's inevitable challenges with grace, understanding that they are not just obstacles but essential parts of our journey towards growth and enlightenment.

More Information about the I Ching

Understanding the Structure of Hexagrams

Every hexagram in the I Ching, from the first hexagram to the 64th, is constructed using a combination of trigrams. These trigrams, the building blocks of every I Ching hexagram, represent different natural elements and concepts, such as wind, water, fire, and mountain. The upper trigram and lower trigram interact, giving birth to the unique energy of the hexagram. By delving into the trigrams that compose a hexagram, one can unearth its deeper meanings and implications.

The Timeless Nature of I Ching

The I Ching, often referred to as the Book of Changes or Yijing, has remained relevant due to its universal themes. While society has evolved, the essential human emotions and challenges we face remain. The 64 hexagrams of the I Ching address these timeless concerns, making it an untiring guide for introspection and growth. Whether you're contemplating the creative power of Hexagram 1 or the dynamic interplay in other hexagrams, the wisdom remains ceaseless.

The Philosophical Foundations of I Ching

The I Ching is deeply rooted in Taoist and Confucian philosophies. It's a reflection of the world's natural order, emphasising the dynamics of yin and yang. Studying the hexagrams provides insights into the ancient Chinese understanding of balance, change, and harmony in the universe.

How to Consult the I Ching

Traditionally, seekers would consult the I Ching using yarrow stalks or coins. The divinatory process, often seen as an interaction with the oracle, results in a specific hexagram. This hexagram, whether it be the light-giving Hexagram 1 or another, provides guidance tailored to the individual's query. Modern enthusiasts might also opt for a free I Ching reading online to understand their current situation better.

Incorporating I Ching Hexagram 3 into Daily Life

Hexagram 3, symbolising the initial challenges of new beginnings and the sprouting of new endeavours, offers wisdom that can be deeply integrated into our daily experiences. Its six lines teach us that the early stages of any venture, while filled with potential obstacles, are also ripe with opportunities for growth and learning. By internalising the teachings of this hexagram, we learn the value of persistence in the face of challenges and the importance of laying solid foundations. It's about understanding that chaos and difficulty can be the precursors to order and success, guiding us to act with patience, foresight, and determination in our everyday endeavours.

Incorporating I Ching into Self-Improvement and Personal Growth

The I Ching, with its intricate tapestry of hexagrams, serves as a profound compass for those on a journey of self-improvement and personal growth. Each hexagram offers insights into life's challenges and opportunities, guiding individuals to introspect, evolve, and align with the universe's natural rhythms.

Regularly consulting the I Ching offers a bridge to ancient wisdom, helping seekers tap into their inner strengths and potentials. The detailed interpretations of each hexagram, from the dynamics of its yang and yin lines to its overarching message, act as roadmaps for personal development. They shed light on one's strengths, highlight areas for growth, and provide direction in times of uncertainty.

For those dedicated to personal evolution, the I Ching is an invaluable guide. It aids in discerning the optimal paths in life, understanding relationship dynamics, and fostering a harmonious balance in all endeavours. Through its teachings, individuals are equipped to cultivate essential virtues like patience, resilience, and empathy. This not only empowers personal growth but also enables one to be a positive force in the broader world.

In today's rapidly changing world, the I Ching remains a pillar of timeless wisdom. It beckons individuals to journey inward, embrace continuous learning, and cherish the ever-evolving process of self-betterment.

Consult I Ching

Choose a Hexagram Number

How to use the coin method to consult the I Ching

Consult the I Ching online. Use our coin method simulation and build your own hexagram.

Lines Number Title Name
i ching hexagram 1 1 CH'IEN The Creative
i ching hexagram 2 2 K'UN The Receptive
i ching hexagram 3 3 CHUN Difficulty at the Beginning
i ching hexagram 4 4 MÊNG Youthful Folly
i ching hexagram 5 5 HSÜ Waiting (Nourishment)
i ching hexagram 6 6 SUNG Conflict
i ching hexagram 7 7 SHIH The Army
i ching hexagram 8 8 PI Holding Together
i ching hexagram 9 9 HSIAO CH'U The Taming Power of the Small
i ching hexagram 10 10 Treading (Conduct)
i ching hexagram 11 11 TAI Peace
i ching hexagram 12 12 P'I Standstill (Stagnation)
i ching hexagram 13 13 T'UNG JÊN Fellowship with others
i ching hexagram 14 14 TA YU Possession in Great Measure
i ching hexagram 15 15 CH'IEN Modesty
i ching hexagram 16 16 Enthusiasm
i ching hexagram 17 17 SUI Following
i ching hexagram 18 18 KU Work on What Has Been Spoiled (Decay)
i ching hexagram 19 19 LIN Approach
i ching hexagram 20 20 KUAN Contemplation
i ching hexagram 21 21 SHIH HO Biting Through
i ching hexagram 22 22 PI Grace
i ching hexagram 23 23 PO Splitting Apart
i ching hexagram 24 24 FU Return
i ching hexagram 25 25 WU WANG Innocence
i ching hexagram 26 26 TA CH'U The Taming Power of the Great
i ching hexagram 27 27 I Providing Nourishment
i ching hexagram 28 28 TA KUO Preponderance of the Great
i ching hexagram 29 29 K'AN The Abysmal (Water)
i ching hexagram 30 30 LI The Clinging Fire
i ching hexagram 31 31 HSIEN Influence
i ching hexagram 32 32 HÊNG Duration
i ching hexagram 33 33 TUN Retreat
i ching hexagram 34 34 TA CHUANG The Power of the Great
i ching hexagram 35 35 CHIN Progress
i ching hexagram 36 36 MING I Darkening of the Light
i ching hexagram 37 37 CHIA JÊN The Family
i ching hexagram 38 38 K'UEI Opposition
i ching hexagram 39 39 CHIEN Obstruction
i ching hexagram 40 40 HSIEH Deliverance
i ching hexagram 41 41 SUN Decrease
i ching hexagram 42 42 I Increase
i ching hexagram 43 43 KUAI Breakthrough (Resoluteness)
i ching hexagram 44 44 KOU Coming to Meet
i ching hexagram 45 45 TS'UI Gathering Together
i ching hexagram 46 46 SHÊNG Pushing Upward
i ching hexagram 47 47 K'UN Oppression (Exhaustion)
i ching hexagram 48 48 CHING The Well
i ching hexagram 49 49 KO Revolution
i ching hexagram 50 50 TING The Cauldron
i ching hexagram 51 51 CHÊN The Arousing (Shock)
i ching hexagram 52 52 KÊN Keeping Still
i ching hexagram 53 53 CHIEN Gradual Progress
i ching hexagram 54 54 KUEI MEI The Marrying Maiden
i ching hexagram 55 55 FÊNG Abundance
i ching hexagram 56 56 The Wanderer
i ching hexagram 57 57 SUN The Gentle
i ching hexagram 58 58 TUI The Joyous, Lake
i ching hexagram 59 59 HUAN Dispersion
i ching hexagram 60 60 CHIEH Limitation
i ching hexagram 61 61 CHUNG FU Inner Truth
i ching hexagram 62 62 HSIAO KUO Preponderance of the Small
i ching hexagram 63 63 CHI CHI After Completion
i ching hexagram 64 64 WEI CHI Before Completion
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