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Muddied Waters

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Read this piece this morning from a longer post. Had to admit to DH, he is right about stepping away from an argument ... waiting till the water clears.... to resolve it. I think the same thing applies to emotional eating. When the emotional eating dragons strike, the water are very muddy. Patience and waiting for things to clear can help.
"I try very hard to control myself, my anger and my negative emotions but they always win over me," a disciple once said to Buddha, "O Venerable One! how do I overcome this weakness of mine?"
Buddha ignored his question and kept moving. After a while, he sat down in lotus posture under a banyan tree and spoke, "I'm thirsty, can you get me water from the river?"
Eager to serve his master, the disciple moved towards the river at once. Before he could lower the bowl and fill it, a man with a bullock cart started crossing the shallow river. The water became turbid. Dismayed, the disciple went back empty handed. "The water is muddy and unfit for drinking as a bullock cart just crossed the river."
Buddha nodded. After a little while, he asked the disciple to try again. The water was still murky and he came back empty handed again. "It was less muddy," he said, "but still unsuitable for drinking."

Buddha maintained quietude for half an hour before instructing him again. The disciple was pleased to find clear water this time, the mud and other particles had settled down. He filled the bowl with water and went back to the master.

With utmost mindfulness, Buddha took a few sips. He put the bowl down and said, "You see, when the water got muddy, the easiest method to clean it was to let it be. Had you made any attempt to clear it at the time, it would have ended up worse. You just let it be, you simply waited and the mud settled down on its own. Other than patience, there was no effort. Similarly, when your mind is greatly disturbed just let it be. It'll calm down, it'll settle in due course, give it a little time, be patient."
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