Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Metaphor for the nature of mind.

A glass of water.

What are the qualities of a glass of pure water?

Transparent, clear, refreshing, healthy, reflective surface.

The pure water represents the nature of our own mind, with its qualities of being pure, transparent, calm and clear.  A state of natural peace and health.  A pristine state of self-reflexive awareness.   

What happens if we put a handful of dirt in the water and stir it up?  Can we still recognize those initial qualities?  Are those qualities still there?  Is the dirt intrinsic to the water now? 

The dirt represents all of our thoughts, emotions, habitual patterns and karmic conditioning.  Normally we spend most of our days stirring that glass up, cycling through various mental states and emotional responses.  Our habits and karma keep churning up that water in the glass, the dirt swirling and obscuring the qualities of the water.   

But what happens if we let the water rest.  Just set it down and let it rest, and it naturally starts to clear up.  The natural qualities of the water reveal themselves without any effort. 

Given how omnipresent this example is in our own lived experience, we have little facility to apply this knowledge to our own condition.  We spend our days wrapped up in exerting more effort, more energy and time in order to accomplish our aims.  Our habitual patterns tell us that if we just try harder, stir faster or more efficiently, then we will gain what we so desire.   

Yet maybe the secret instruction is to rest naturally.

Rest naturally and thoughts, sights and sounds settle into their own place.
Rest naturally and emotions and fears disappear revealing insight and clarity.
Rest naturally and our habits and karmic conditioning lose their impetus.
Rest naturally and the qualities of the nature of mind reveal themselves.
Rest naturally and our intrinsic buddhanature becomes evident.
Rest naturally, and there is nothing more to do.    

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