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Be Like the Water: Flow!

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Sometimes everything just works out fine: success follows success, everybody seems to be a friend, you are happy and cheerful, you are surrounded by love–like the whole Universe is on your side. At other times trouble comes in series, unpleasant events, losses and problems follow each other, nobody seems to understand you, people are unfriendly to you–as if the whole Universe conspired against you.

The ”small self” living in us likes to keep everything, our whole life under control, when everything happens exactly as it expects. When Life supports your ideas, desires, and you are satisfied–you fell like the lord of Life. But when things do not match your expectations, you feel that you need more control, you need to be more powerful, persistent, you must resist what is happening with you.

When you resist what is actually happening with you, you declare war on yourself and the whole life. You desperately insist on your ideas, you strive to make everything happen the way you wish–but the larger effort you are making, the less happy and less successful you will be.

"In existence, nobody is superior, and nobody is inferior. A blade of grass and a star are completely equal... But man wants to be superior to others, and wants to conquer nature, so he needs to fight all the time. This fight makes everything so complicated. An innocent man is the one who gave up fighting all the time; who no longer wants to be superior; who no longer intends to demonstrate his own superiority; who has become like a rose or a drop of morning dew on the leaf of a lotus; who is united with the Universe, with the Ocean, and is now but a wave himself; who has no idea what ”Self” means. The disappearance of "Self" is innocence." (Osho)

In nature, everything follows the principle of the lowest effort. Birds soar gently, and when they are hungry, they land on a bush and eat berries. They are never worried, they do not make efforts, they do not want to. Grass is not making efforts either, it grows by itself, and a rose grows from a tiny seed to a beautiful creature with a pleasant scent. In a raging storm a gently waving blade of grass bends but does not break, whereas old trees with their rigid trunks try to resist and break.

Look at a brook in a forest! The fresh, crystal-clear water flows cheerfully down the side of the mountain, and where there is a rock, the brook runs around it, and continues its way down, gently rippling along. I does not resist, it does not kick the stone, trying to smash it up; it gently flows around, and continues on its way. It touches the rock gently on its way around it. After a lot of gentle touches the rock is worn away; the soft water overcomes, while the hard rock tried to resists and is in the end washed away. Flowing gently and softly in the current of life makes our Life cheerful and happy, it multiplies our strength, whereas trying to be hard and turn face to Life exhausts our energies.

I did not learn to swim for a long time. I suffered, I wanted to conquer the water with force, I fought hand and feet, because I thought that the more I resist, the sooner I conquer the water. But the water showed me every time that it had the upper hand: after the few seconds I spent under the surface in fear (which felt a very long time), I always emerged with a dripping nose, coughing and suffocated. Until one day somebody gave me the wise advice to just stretch in the shallow water and relax, and do what I do when I meditate. I did that, and I shed my fear, relaxed, and I began to float on the water easily. That floating taught me not to try to conquer the water, but to embrace it as a friend, and to float in it and with it.

"Be like the water, my friend!," Bruce Lee said. If water is poured into a container, it takes up the shape of the container. But when a jug is put into water, it will sink into it, and the water will surround it inside and outside–just like the one and only Consciousness that permeates every living creature.

There is a story about a small, peaceful creek that was once swollen by a sudden flood. There was a weak rope bridge above it, and a Zen master wanted to cross that bridge. The flood, however, badly damaged the bridge which was not able to hold the Zen master’s weight. The ropes broke, and the master dropped into the whirling, murky flood below. The eyewitnesses were horrified to see as the waves swallowed the master, who never surfaced again. They gave up the hope that they would ever find his lifeless body, when a soaked, muddy figure appeared, and cheerfully cried to them. ”Hey, ho! I’m here!
”Master! How did you survive the torrent?”
”Well, when I dropped into it, I let the water prevail. I did not resist, I allowed it to take me along. The powerful current drifted me to a small bay, where a thick and strong branch of a tree reached above the water. I grabbed the opportunity that appeared in the form of a tree, and that is how I got to the shore.

The freedom of choice is there for us in every minute: we swim together with the current of life, floating with ease, or we try to swim against the stream, struggle and suffer. The choice, the decision is our. Lao Tse, the wise man of Tao Te King asserts: "The way of the Tao is the way of the flowing river." Learn to swim with the current of life, allow it to drift you, and do not swim against the current.  Be like the water: the water is your teacher.

Do not try to control your life, because that is impossible. There are more than 7 billion individuals on Earth, trying to realize their own dreams, but 7 billion realities, contradicting each other, cannot come into being. Most of us do not do what we really want to, we drift in the troubled currents of our desires and expectations: we want a career as soon as possible and we ram the obstacles in our way like bulldozers. Life is in fact winding: sometimes things happen that are apparently in accordance with your endeavors, and sometimes other things that apparently hamper your progress. These obstacles, barriers, apparent difficulties are at the same time valuable teachers and helpers. Whenever Life does not support your efforts, and causes problems and difficulties, you may realize that your plans and desires are not in harmony with the great Wholeness, the Universe, Life itself. These ambitions are just the claims of the eager and selfish Ego. We label something "good," and what is different from that is "bad," and we stubbornly insist on the implementation of what we believe to be ”good.” Usually, however, it soon turns out that what looks to be good today, may become bad tomorrow, and what we consider as bad luck today, may easily turn good luck later (when the dots are connected and things become meaningful).

Once the Master’s son was given a horse, and friend of the Master said, ”How great it is that your son got a horse!”
The Zen master said, ”Indeed?”
Soon after the boy fell off the horse, and broke his leg. The Master’s friend was sorry. ”How terrible it is that your son broke his leg!” 
The Zen master said again, ”Indeed?”
Then a war broke out, and the Master’s son was not drafted, because of his injury. The friend was happy. ”It is really lucky that your son does not need to go to the battlefield, because he is injured!”
The Zen master said once again, ”Indeed?”

The mountain creek does not run the shortest course, but it is winding: when it is able to flow without obstacles, it flows in a straight line, but if there is an obstacle in its way, it is not trying to destroy it, but passes softly by it.  Most people do not do what they would be pleased to do, but what they believe would promote their career. They do not create the opportunity, but they expect the opportunity to create them. They undertake jobs which they find no pleasure in, they only have financial criteria. Then they perform their work with boredom, like robots, and soon burn out.

Your deeds and your Life will only have a meaning if you find what you can do with pleasure and enthusiasm: what is more than a hobby for you. Once you have found it, you have found your call, your mission in life. Your mission appears clearly like a crystal in the space of your Consciousness, and you do not need to think hard on how and what way you will implement your goals. It is more than sufficient to choose the ”easier” way, and trust yourself on the currents of Life.  You simply allow yourself into Life, to the current where everything flows easily, effortlessly. As you are not making efforts, you easily recognize the opportunities that take you closer to the realization of your visions. If you see an obstacle in your way, you recognize the nature of that obstacle which, at the same time, points out your mistakes and the falseness of the ideas of the Ego. You do not resist the obstacle, you pass by it softly: you find the way that allows you to continue your Journey.

Be like the water at all times! Be alert, and flow in the currents of Life, and enjoy the journey!


(Excerpt from the book "The Miracle of Consciousness")

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The Author: Ervin K. Kery achieved mindfulness -the pure state of consciousness- after a sudden crash of the ego. Since then he is an enthusiast consciousness researcher, a mindfulness coach, spiritual writer and publisher. More about the author here..Check out the books published by the author here..You can subscribe to our free newsletter and updates here: