If you sit by a river you will quickly notice the water and its perpetual motion, the continuous flow. If you were to trace this river to its genesis and follow it along its path you would most likely find that the water continues moving and flowing, at times very slowly, almost imperceptibly and then picking up speed, meandering around rocks, fallen branches and other various obstacles, which have fallen across the rivers path.
At times along the rivers journey there may be rapids, there may be waterfalls; spaces and places where the water comes crashing down, down onto rocks branches or possibly a dam that’s been built below. If you observe this river and notice the patterns of the water, the natural flow of the water, you will see that regardless of what obstacles the water encounters or finds before it, the water never ceases to flow it simply adapts and shifts based on the most natural available route, flowing with intuitive ease through any given situation. If a waterfall arises the water never clings or grasps for a branch or rock to hold it back, to keep it from falling over the precipice; it will never fight against its natural current trying to avoid the inevitable fall into the unknown environment below. The water simply falls. The water simply allows for its natural flow.
Now, if you sit and observe a human life, you may notice that this also involves a continuous flow, a perpetual motion.
If you trace a human life to its genesis and follow it along its path you will notice that there are times of seemingly very slow moving motion, as well as times when movement and change is very rapid & swift. From subtle change, to quick and obvious – all of this comes to pass along the journey of a human life.
If you continue to observe this humans journey you will begin to notice that just like the river, there are obstacles that cross this persons path and often times the person may choose to walk around or step over certain obstacles, yet unlike the river, when waterfalls come or other major changes or perceived obstacles appear in a life the tendency is to cling to the edge, to maintain a grasp on the familiar, to fight against the current, all in an effort to avoid the inevitable change, to avoid falling into or moving into the unknown…to avoid the natural flow of nature.
And again, as you observe the river you will come to realize that everything changes, nothing remains the same. The water within the river is new in each moment; if you were to dip your finger in the water, you would notice the water flowing by, constantly changing; the water that wets your finger always new – the river becomes new in every moment, so too with human life, with all of life. Continual change, continual motion.
If we can come to realize, understand and accept that obstacles will always be a part of this human experience; if we can come to accept this while also accepting and understanding the universal law of impermanence, anicca – continual change and flow – that everything arises and everything passes away – we can find peace in this understanding, this wisdom, this knowledge, knowing that all circumstances and experiences will change and it’s futile to try to hold on, to grasp, to cling and also to avoid or to feel aversion to anyone particular person, thing, experience or emotion.
Observe life as you observe the river, noticing that the flow and continual motion transpires as it will, regardless of whether you fight against or move with.
Choose to flow; choose to grow along the path of dharma.
With this acceptance and understanding of continual flow, along with a neutral, non-judgmental, observant mind full of loving kindness, you will find that life opens up to you with a sense of ease, clarity and confidence. As you let go and allow for nature to flow, you become free. Recognizing with each breath in and with each breath out that each breath is arising & passing away; such is life.
I wish for you happiness & peace as you flow freely along the river of life…