POSITIVE VIBES — Let the Water Calm
John: Sandy, Goke tells the story of an old Buddha. was traveling from one town to the next with his followers. They happened to pass a lake. The Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Please get me some water from the lake.”
The disciple walked down to the water, but when he reached it, he noticed an ox cart had just begun crossing the lake. As a result, the water turned brown and murky. Seeing the water as unfit to drink, he returned to the Buddha, saying, “The water is muddy. I don’t think it’s drinkable.”The Buddha said, “Then let us take a rest here.”
30 minutes later, the Buddha asked the disciple for water again. He went back to the lake and found the water was clear. The mud had settled down and the water on top looked clean and drinkable. He collected some in a pot and brought it to the Buddha. When he gave the Buddha the water, the Buddha said, “See? You let the water be, and the mud settled down on its own. You got clear water, and it didn’t require any effort.”
What I have learned is that calm does not happen when we try to be frantic. It is the result of not trying. We have the ability to do amazing things, but not when the monkey mind is racing. It happens to all of us. Don’t fight it. It only gets worse.
Sandy, what would you tell someone that is trying to get the mud to settle down in their own head?
Sandy: Great story John, and such an important message. I’ve noticed that people often get so focused on the end result, and what they think they need to do to get there, that they forget to pay attention to the process. They think that taking immediate action and forcing the outcome is the only way to do it.
Sometimes this is true, especially when there is some kind of emergency that needs to be immediately dealt with.
However, often, when we have a plan, it’s important to pay attention to the process, and look at all aspects of how things come together.
As in your story, Buddha was wise enough to understand the process of what was going on with the water, and knew that patience would achieve the desired goal. He initiated the process of accessing water, and then waited.
I believe that it’s too easy for folks to get so gung ho about ‘making’ something happen, that we forget to just lay the groundwork and then let it unfold.
As you said, instead of getting in our own way, we need to calm down, think clearly, step back, and let the process work.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience
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