One-Sentence Readings

How can a single sentence
contain a complete reading?

Lengthy Readings
As I look back on my early readings, I am critiquing them for being too lengthy, complex, and wordy, usually presented in multiple slides or pages, with often repetitive explanations, because I was then hoping to make every reading more “substantial” and “comprehensive.”

I had fun doing them, but it proved to be unsustainable. Whenever I occasionally give free readings online and in live interviews, long readings are not exactly the best idea. Producing multiple long readings in a short period was like trying to finish a bunch of technical white papers.

So I carefully thought of a workaround. In trying different ways, I stumbled upon an idea, that, in hindsight, was well inspired by my poetry practice.

Same With Haiku
Surprisingly, writing haiku is NOT about counting the syllables, contrary to what we were taught. Its whole idea is to closely observe 2 images from nature, draw your experienced insight from them, and write them in a single sentence. That’s right: in one sentence. From there, you can transform that sentence into a three-liner with its proper syllable count.

The beauty of haiku is the challenge of contemplating unrelated images, then bridging them together within poetic constraints, to craft a piece with elegant brevity. This is not at all different from writing a short reading in a long sentence. They both follow the same principle.

One Long Sentence
Many writers find writing a long sentence too challenging and oftentimes pointless. Yet this art has become more literary since many novelists and essayists took the challenge and wrote memorable openings. But what exactly is its purpose? This one fictionist explained it:

The long sentence forces us to slow down our reading in order to grasp the meaning of its many parts. In this way, it challenges us and exercises our intellectual abilities.

Randal Eldon Greene, On The Art of The Long Sentence

The idea dawned on me: Why not write a Yijing reading in just one long sentence? It is the most ideal solution for doing short readings. So I started to challenge myself, and I had a lot of fun! Writing a long sentence is almost similar to poetry: it is weaving detailed insights altogether into its final, meaningful atomic form. One copywriter noted how well a long sentence works:

Like a poem, a long sentence takes readers on a tiny journey, describing one thought, one feeling, one evocative scene...So, the main trick to composing a beautiful long sentence is to communicate only one idea with clarity.

Henneke, How to Write a Long Sentence

I did the same, and one day I found myself churning out more than 30 short reading requests in 4 hours. I enjoyed it so well. It was really a huge leap from 8 longer readings with the same amount of time!

Short Reading
Here is an example of a one-sentence reading I wrote for a client, with only 67 words:

Hexagram 55 Abundance to Hexagram 64 Not Yet Across

You have been deeply pondering not just a change of career but a complete change of heart, even though your current career is clear as the sun, you want to take the risk of going with the flow, something that you are ready to decide and take a quantum leap, yet it is important not to do this in haste and discern first the implications of your choice.

My client replied to me with an amazing breakdown, each part of the reading juxtaposed with her own situation. She did this to express how accurate the reading was for her.

From the readingMy friend’s situation
Pondering not just a change
of career but a change of heart
She’s planning to go back
to the corporate world
even though your current
career is clear as the sun
For a long time, she is into art,
academe, and freelancing.
…you want to take a risk of
going with a flow...
This pandemic has made her
realize to be more practical.
She thinks computer-based
skills are in demand, and she’s
preparing herself to prioritize it
if there are any schedule conflicts.
you are ready to take
a quantum leap
She and her sisters are preparing
to work abroad next year
…yet it is important not
to haste
She can choose to delay going
abroad, and finish her masters first.

Below is a walk-through of the associated reading elements in this reading. Please take note that I was totally clueless about the client’s situation, but Yijing still revealed the answers.

From the readingAssociated reading elements
for H55 to H64
Pondering not just a change
of career but a change of heart
Trigram Fire Below in H55
changing to Trigram Water in H64
even though your current
career is clear as the sun
text: “A fitting sacrifice at noon.”
…you want to take a risk of
going with the flow...
Trigram Water in H64
you are ready to take
a quantum leap
Line 6 position
…yet it is important not
to haste
Hexagram 64

Though it looks technical, but my purpose is to show you that these associations are not arbitrary. Rather, I exercised intuitive listening, converting reading elements into practical insights so the entire reading can logically make sense.

Minimalist and Holographic
This short reading in one long sentence is a minimalist yet holographic approach to Yijing reading. Minimalist, because fewer words mean more substance; and holographic, because all insights are packed in one message. Thus, one-sentence Yijing reading is my gift of poetry and meaning.

Try One-Sentence Reading
Have you made a decision just recently? Are you wondering if you did the right one? Or if you feel it wrong, would you like to know how to fix it? Message me and type DECISION REVIEW, and expect your one-sentence reading in the next 24 hours.

You can email me or you can directly message me here.


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