“We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.”
– Taoist Proverb
I’ve always found calm, and sometimes clarity, too, in these very Taoist, natural-element bits of wisdom, especially water-related ones.
I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
If we splash around in a pond or river, or if the water is coursing after the Spring Thaw, the sediment gets churned up and the water is murky.
All of our mental chatter, going outside of ourselves, and the resulting frantic machinations are the equivalent of splashing around and muddying things up (she says, thinking of her own experience with much splashing and muddying and slowly learning to be still and let it clear!).
In order to see clearly again — to ‘get to the bottom of it’ — we can center and be still, and let the murk settle and the water become clear again.
“As we become clear within ourselves, relationships flow more smoothly.” ~ M. Kelley Hunter
If that seems impossible at any given moment — and we all have those moments — it’s wise to turn to someone who can be a proxy ‘clear reflecting mirror’ with and for us.
Just as I was reflecting on this and musing on this blog entry, into my email inbox came a similarly themed mention of a Wisdom proverb from Brian’s Wannabe Saint blog:
“Wait for the mud to settle, pause until the water clears. Remain still until wisdom arises.”
And then another tidbit from morning sadhana browsing, from the Tao te Ching:
“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving till the right action rises by itself?”
Just before this, I’d been reflecting in my sadhana readings on Wu Wei and the ‘art of non-doing’ — do without doing, and everything gets done — and settling into my mantra time by breathing, “Be still and know …”.
Hmmm, there’s a theme emerging here!
These are common threads that arise from timeless wisdom traditions in which right action — and usually the most efficient action, I might add — arise not from crazy-ass, frantic, should-supposed-to, busy-do (phew!), but from stillness and the clear guidance that we see in the clear, still pool of wisdom within us and reflecting back at us.
That takes a wee bit of practice, particularly in these tumultuous times of shaken-and-stirred energy.
These inner ways of the Via Feminina are a worthwhile experiment, and good medicine for the Great Turning (and great adventure) — they help us to find clarity, center, calm, and courage in the midst of these unsettled and transformative times we’re now in, and through.
For those of us who are empaths & sensitives — and thus very likely picking up the chaotic and often toxic juju wafting around the ethers (and from others), as well as having old stuff stirred from within us — centering and stilling practices can be life (or at least quality of life and sanity) saving.
Lots of love on the Way,