Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Letting the Mud Settle

There is a beautiful Buddhist thought that goes something like..."Can you let the mud settle before you take action?" It came to me at a particular point in my life when I was hurrying to do something, anything, and reminded me to wait. Sometimes we forget to remember such wisdom. In our hurry-up world, a world where microwaving no longer means quick meals but expecting immediate results, this wisdom is easily pushed aside, less palatable.

It takes courage when life is throwing curve balls to stand still and simply dodge them. Our fight or flight instincts are strong; they kept us alive as we struggled to escape wild animals and the ravages of living in a cave. They have morphed, unfortunately, into mental fears that if given space and grace, would show themselves to be what they truly are...makings of our own tired imagination. I don't know about you, but so many of my reactions over the years (the results of NOT letting the mud settle) were simply re-runs (re-enactments) of the situation I was trying to avoid in the first place. Had I had the presence of mind to "let the mud settle" I might have ended up with some very different (and far more desired) results.

As a culture, we are not comfortable with silence or inaction. Inaction, by the way, is not the same as inertia...a theme for another blog. While the old west is long gone, most of us are still wearing our six-shooters at our hips, whipping them out and aiming when confronted with the inevitable challenges that life brings. Most times doing nothing, until the right response or direction is understood or clear, can bring us that longed for state of mind and body called "peace." It gives way for breath, and life and real solutions. It offers each other respect for the struggles all of us face from time to time. Letting the mud settle creates clear waters. We can then see the bottom of the pond, the path before us, the boulders or canyons that can harm us. Such wisdom, such insight, is priceless.

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