By June 12, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

How to Flow When the Torrents are Raging

Trinity Bourne, Contributor
Waking Times

Walking an authentic path in life

Walking an authentic path in life can often be confusing. We might at times find ourselves torn whilst swirling in the torrent of life’s choices. How do we navigate the path and unleash our true beingness? The following story, originally by Chuang Tzu, offers a profound metaphor for life and the true nature of what it means to ‘go with the flow’. Essential reading for all awakened souls…

Chuang Tzu’s story of the swimmer

Confucius and his students went on a hike out in the countryside. He was thinking of using the opportunity to engage the students in a discussion about the Tao when one of them approached and asked: “Master, have you ever been to Liu Liang? It is not far from here.”

Confucius said: “I have heard about it but never actually seen it with my own eyes. It is said to be a place of much natural beauty.”

“It is indeed,” the student said. “Liu Liang is known for its majestic waterfalls. It is only about two hours’ trek from here, and the day is still young. Master, if you would like to go there, I would be honored to serve as your guide.”

Confucius thought this was a splendid idea, so the group set off toward Liu Liang. As they were walking and chatting, another student said: “I grew up near a waterfall myself. In summertime, I would always go swimming with the other children from the village.”

The first student explained: “These waterfalls we will see aren’t quite like that. The water comes down from such a great height that it carries tremendous force when it hits the bottom. You definitely would not want to go swimming there.”

Confucius said: “When the water is sufficiently powerful, not even fish and turtles can get near it. This is interesting to ponder, because we are used to thinking of water as their native element.”

After a while, they could see the waterfall coming into view in the hazy distance. Although it was still far away, they could see that it was indeed as majestic as the first student described. Another hour of walking brought them even closer, and now they could clearly hear the deep, vibrating sound it made.

They topped a rise and were able to see the entire waterfall. Then they gasped collectively, because at the bottom of it, they saw a man in the ferociously churning water, being spun around and whipped this way and that by the terrifying currents.

“Quickly, to the waterfall!” Confucius commanded. “He must have fallen in by accident, or perhaps he is a suicide. Either way, we must save him if we can.”

They ran as fast as they could. “It’s useless, Master,” one the students said. “By the time we get down there, he’ll be too far gone for us to do him any good.”

“You may well be right,” Confucius replied. “Nevertheless, when a man’s life is at stake, we owe it to him to make every effort possible.”

They lost sight of the man as they descended the hillside. Moments later, they broke through the forest to arrive at the river, a short distance downstream from the waterfall. They expected to see the man’s lifeless body in the river. Instead, they saw him swimming casually away from the waterfall, spreading his long hair out and singing loudly, evidently having a great time. They were dumbfounded.

When he got out of the river, Confucius went to speak with him: “Sir, I thought you must be some sort of supernatural being, but on closer inspection I see you are an ordinary person, no different from us. We sought to save you, but now I see it is not necessary.”

The man bowed to Confucius: “I am sorry if I have caused you any grave concerns on my behalf. This is merely a trivial recreational activity I enjoy once in a while.”

Confucius bowed back: “You say it is trivial, but to me it is incredible. How can it be that you were not harmed by the waterfall? Are there some special skills that you possess?”

“No, I have no special skills whatsoever,” the man replied. “I simply follow the nature of the water. That’s how I started with it, developed a habit out of it, and derived lifelong enjoyment from it.”

“This ‘follow the nature of the water’ – can you describe it in greater detail? How exactly does one follow the nature of water?”

“Well… I don’t really think about it very much. If I had to describe it, I would say that when the powerful torrents twist around me, I turn with them. If a strong current drives me down, I dive alongside it. As I do so, I am fully aware that when we get to the riverbed, the current will reverse course and provide a strong lift upward. When this occurs, I am already anticipating it, so I rise together with it.”

“So you are working with the water and not just letting it have its way with you?”

“That’s right. Although the water is extremely forceful, it is also a friend that I have gotten to know over the years, so I can sense what it wants to do, and I leverage its flow without trying to manipulate it or impose my will on it.”

“How long did it take for you to make all this an integrated part of your life?”

“I really can’t say. I was born in this area, so the waterfalls have always been a familiar sight to me. I grew up playing with these powerful currents, so I have always felt comfortable with them. Whatever success I have with water is simply a natural result of my lifelong habit. To be quite frank, I have no idea why this approach works so well. To me, it’s just the way life is.”

Confucius thanked him and turned back to his students. He smiled, because he suddenly knew exactly what they could talk about on their trip home.

The metaphors of life

In this story, the mighty waterfall and the river symbolise the divine flow of the universe echoed in our daily lives. We are powerless to stop the flow. It may often seem unforgiving and harsh, yet these times are our greatest teachers in offering the opportunity to evolve beyond our self imposed limitations.

We are inseparable from the flow. Confusion happens when we mistakenly believe that we are somehow separate from it. Chaos follows when we try to control or manipulate either the flow or our response to it. Attempting to fight the river of life or when we shout out our perceived injustices, we simply become exhausted from the struggle, getting nowhere.

The swimmer in the story offers us a profound message. Contrary to many spiritual misconceptions today, he is NOT blindly allowing the flow to take him. ‘Trusting the universe’ is not about letting the flow ‘take’ you without regard for what is going on. This would simply rip us to sheds.

The swimmer is purely present. He is aware of every instant, the nature of the water and the nature of the universe. Because of this awareness, he realises that once he approaches the bottom of the riverbed, the energy will propel him back to the surface. He is able to use the energy of the universe to simply flow through the river of life. Without such presence, he would either be in a state of fear or blind acceptance – either way would ensure that he would miss the opportunity to flow. Rather than blindly accepting ‘whatever goes’ (which in this case would tear him apart) he accepts that he is powerless to change the flow and uses it like a divine dance to carry him onwards and upwards unscathed.

It takes time to master the flow of the universe. The man in this story represents someone who has achieved an advanced state of evolution. However he reflects the opportunity within each of us to become who we truly are. The story offers an important tenet to unleashing our true beingness, achieved through absolute commitment. At times we are going to make ‘mistakes’, but we all know that there are no such things as mistakes as long as we learn by them; becoming increasingly aware and eternal students of the divine flow.

Here’s our invitation to become at one with the divine flow, just like the swimmer in Chang Tzu’s story.

In Love and Light
Trinity

This article originally appeared at Openhandweb.org, a project to elevate the consciousness of man and provide healing to those in need.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Post a Comment

Media Gallery

14 Ways To Re-use Plastic Bottles

14 Ways To Re-use Plastic Bottles

Video – Fourteen ways that a small farm in Uganda re-uses plastic drinks bottles.

By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
DMT – The Inner Path to Other Worlds

DMT – The Inner Path to Other Worlds

Video – DMT is a psychoactive chemical produced by the human body and by many plants that causes intense visions and can induce its users to quickly enter a completely different “world.”

By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
The Impact of Voting Within the Confines of Society

The Impact of Voting Within the Confines of Society

Video - Russell Brand and Lawrence O’Donnell discuss the impact that voting lacks within the current structure of the political system and society.

By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Could You Give Like This Man?

Could You Give Like This Man?

Video – Research suggests that not only is giving good for you—your health, your happiness, and your sense of purpose—but gift-giving activates the good things that people do to heal a wounded world.

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Has Ghana Become the World’s Toxic Dumping Ground?

Has Ghana Become the World’s Toxic Dumping Ground?

Video – A new study has identified the Agbobloshie dumping yard in Ghana’s capital Accra as the place which poses the highest toxic threat to human life.

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Recent by Waking Times

Dodging the Tuition Debt Bullet

Dodging the Tuition Debt Bullet

Anna Hunt – Student tuition debt is astronomical in the US, and Germany announces free higher ed for all…

By October 11, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Where the Warrior Comes In: Authenticity vs. Manipulation

Where the Warrior Comes In: Authenticity vs. Manipulation

Ida Lawrence, Contributor Waking Times At this moment in time, as we stand on the precipice of devolution or evolution, what does ‘pay attention’ mean to us? Our hearts seek wisdom and courage, and the justified faith that attention can bring. We came into this, so is attention the price of being born… an obligation? […]

A Call To Hearts Lifting to the Higher Self

A Call To Hearts Lifting to the Higher Self

Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, Contributor Waking Times When are we going to stop thinking in terms of religion, country, tribe, town, neighborhood, planet, business and I. When will we begin to think in terms of humanity and helping all people reach higher? Yes. It is natural to think about self, but when are we going to […]

By October 7, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Inducing Higher Intelligence and Heightened Senses with Gamma Brain Waves

Inducing Higher Intelligence and Heightened Senses with Gamma Brain Waves

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer Waking Times Brainwave entrainment is a way to train the brain to synchronize to a certain frequency, such as gamma, beta, delta, theta and alpha. Each frequency matches a certain state of consciousness. For example, delta is the brainwave dominant while in an unconscious state such as sleeping; while theta and […]

Dangers of Smart Meters Extend Beyond Radiation Exposure

Dangers of Smart Meters Extend Beyond Radiation Exposure

Waking Times The electro-magnetic radiation given off by smart meters has become a health concern for many, but, millions of people worldwide whose homes have been outfitted with these devices must also be aware of the dangers of overheating and malfunction. Recently, there have been an extraordinary number of smart meter-related fires reported all over […]