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Alan Watts

“Muddy Water is best Cleared By Leaving It Alone” Said Alan Watts, in his book, “The Way of Zen”

Nature is as much a process as it is a thing, and this includes mud.

We tend to think of the mud as something outside of ourselves. Work demands, relationship challenges, environmental shifts and the global financial market. Mud, mud, mud.
And in the midst of it, 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 precious quiet time 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. This is no way to live.
The mud of life is just going to happen, there is nothing to be done about that. We need to learn 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 horrible 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 insist that we’re bad or dirty.

It’s much simpler than that. Our minds just 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. (That’s 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 meditation practices. We sit, 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.

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