Muddy Water is best Cleared By Leaving It Alone – Alan Watts (from The Way of Zen)
It is time to move away from the metaphor of ‘mud as concept’ and move into the understanding of ‘mud as process’.
We tend to think of our minds as a container, filled to the brim with the complicated details of our lives. We have so much to do, and so little time. So much is asked of us, and resources appear scarce. If we can just get a little quiet time, without pressing demands, only then we can relax.
This may provide some relief, but it doesn’t get to the root of the issue. As long as we think of the mud as being something outside of ourselves, we are a victim, powerless to forces outside ourselves. And this is no way to live.
The mud of life is just going to happen, there is nothing to be done about that. Unless we are in some kind of untenable or abusive situation, we need to deal with reality as it comes.
Closer to the truth, is seeing the mud as being inside of us. But the mud is not some kind of ‘impurity’ or bad energy . Nothing so maudlin as that. We want to step away from ideas that induce shame, or perpetuate self hate. We don’t need to cleanse. We don’t need to buy indulgences.
It’s much simpler than that. Our minds have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. Hungry for meaning and spiritual satisfaction, the mind gnaws on the events of our life. It elevates the smallest details and the most irrelevant, irrational fears into high drama. Perhaps the mind is just trying to be helpful, but it often just really isn’t. It takes us out of joy and peace, all the while telling us it has our best interests in mind.
You can’t throw rocks at a ripple. There’s the rub. Hatred never ceases by hatred. (thats from The Dhammapada )
The best thing we can do, is leave it alone. If it wants to wrestle, let it wrestle itself. This is why we have our yin yoga and meditation practice. We put ourselves into poses, we breathe, and we let the mind do what it wants. Somehow, some-miraculous-how, it starts to settle all on its own. Something we couldn’t do, something we only made worse with our effort, just happens naturally, when we leave it alone.
Thanks, Alan Watts.
And, if you liked this article, come and talk about this sort of subject with me at My Next Yin Yoga Weekend. Click Here To Find Out More. Its going to be a whole weekend of leaving ourselves alone, in the most hands on way.