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Reflections on a Still Pond March 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature.

alice26thAn arrogant man, who felt that no one could teach him anything, visited a Zen master for tea.  

The Zen master poured the tea until it overflowed the cup, and still he continued to pour.  

The arrogant man cried, “Master, stop!  Why do you keep pouring? The cup is full.”

The master replied, “You too are full of your opinions and judgments about the world.  You must empty yourself of the past, to receive the present.”

* * *

When we let go of automatic responses and live in the here and now, we uncover the joy and happiness within.

Rather than allowing past experiences to dictate our re-actions to new events, we begin to view life with alert curiosity.

Like a water-wheel filling and emptying its buckets as it turns, we empty out who we were to become more fully who we are meant to be.

No man steps into the same river twice ~ for it is not the same river and he is not the same man. ~ Heraclitus

* * *

IMGP2584bLife is a constant flow of comings and goings ~ Every day shapes our lives as running water shapes a stone.

Nothing lasts forever ~ Soft flowing streams erode the hardest boulders.

It does not happen in an instant ~ A bucket is filled drop by drop.  

We cannot force it ~ Pushing the river won’t alter its flow.  Shaking our fist at the sky won’t stop the rain.

That’s OK ~ Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass . . . it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.   ~ Vivian Greene

A still pond provides a clearer reflection.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Pix Under the Oaks - March 9, 2014

I enjoyed your reflections this morning Nancy! Love the Heraclitus quote. Enjoy your Florida Sunday.. 😎 We have a bit of sun today and a forecast for 60 degrees!

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Thanks, Pix! I’m glad the sun and warmth are making their way north. We had lovely weather for our “mini reunion” today ~ good food and lots of laughs too!

Pix Under the Oaks - March 10, 2014

You had a “mini reunion” ? FOOD and laughs.. sounds great to me!

nrhatch - March 10, 2014

Yup. A mini clan gathering ~> my aunt and uncle from VT spend winters in Ft. Myers with my cousin and his wife. They came up, my sister’s family came over from Orlando, and my niece came down from USF in Tampa with her boyfriend.

2. Carol Balawyder - March 9, 2014

Great quotes, Nancy. A reminder to pay attention and be present to whatever is happening, even writing this comment:)

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Water is such a calming influence ~ from the ocean, to raindrops plunking in puddles, to a still pond casting reflections. Glad you enjoyed some of my favorites.

3. Don - March 9, 2014

Poignant story, Nancy. Sometimes we’re just too full.

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Indeed! We had a mini reunion here today ~ 11 in all. Everyone got along and played nicely, but opinions popped up with great regularity providing for some lively “debate.”

At times it’s nice to adopt a Beginner’s Mind. “I don’t know.”

4. diannegray - March 9, 2014

Great quotes here, Nancy. My fave is Heraclitus 😉

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Mine too! Even when we think we’re stuck in a rut, we are being changed and shaped by those who flow around us.

5. Eric Tonningsen - March 9, 2014

Few seem to focus on and appreciate “receiving.” It is a skill and a blessing.

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Yes. Creating space for “being open” often pays dividends.

6. Grannymar - March 9, 2014

Nothing lasts forever – how true. Now if I keep waiting this rain will end!

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Perhaps the soggy weather will provide puddles for calm reflection . . . once the rain dissipates.

7. colonialist - March 9, 2014

*brightly* So Zen masters are wastful of tea?

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

And sloppy housekeepers . . . imagine the mess he made. 😉

8. Behind the Story - March 9, 2014

After reading your post, I feel as though I’ve been floating down a stream, letting it take me where it will.

My next thought was about how I learned to drive in Manila. It was a process of letting go. I observed that vehicles moved down the streets and highways like sticks and leaves in a stream. Instead of following hard and fast rules, they unconsciously avoided each other, expanding and contracting lanes, moving forward or back as opportunities presented themselves or didn’t. Once I let go of my American attitude, it wasn’t chaotic anymore.

nrhatch - March 9, 2014

Thanks, Nicki. I love your analogy of cars like sticks and leaves in a stream. I enjoy watching leaves floating downstream, twirling through eddies, cascading over falls. Very relaxing.

And go you! Learning to drive among those ebbing and flowing lanes requires a paradigm shift in perspective.

9. Jacqueline King - March 10, 2014

Great parable, Nancy ~ I love your water~wheel analogy! 🙂

nrhatch - March 10, 2014

Thanks, Jacqueline. It’s a great reminder that change is a constant flow.

10. anotherday2paradise - March 10, 2014

I so enjoyed these reflections, Nancy. I should be dancing outside in the rain today, instead of cleaning house. 😀

nrhatch - March 10, 2014

Dance WHILE cleaning house. Put on some music and dance with the dust rag. Then dance with the vacuum cleaner. Then dance with the toilet scrubber . . . do the twist! 😛

11. ericjbaker - March 10, 2014

Shaking my first at my computer monitor does not make the software work more efficiantly, either, I’ve noticed, yet I do it anyway. Someday I hope to come up with a memorable quote about that.

ericjbaker - March 10, 2014

Er, “efficiently.”

Can’t blame the software for that.

nrhatch - March 10, 2014

“You can lead your fingers to a keyboard . . . but you cannot make them stop stumbling over the keys.” 😉

12. jannatwrites - March 10, 2014

I like the Heraclitus quote – it’s so true. Just like stagnant water smells, stagnant people ‘stink’ to be around, too 🙂

nrhatch - March 10, 2014

I don’t mind people who are stuck in a rut . . . as long as it’s a happy rut. Those stuck in Debbie Downer land are best avoided.

13. Three Well Beings - March 10, 2014

The statement about letting go of automatic responses caught my attention. Even positive responses, if spoken a bit unconsciously perhaps aren’t authentic. I hadn’t really thought about that. Very interesting!

nrhatch - March 11, 2014

Many automatic utterances (both face to face and on-line) are not nearly as “heartfelt” as they sound; some are downright insincere. We are conditioned to please . . . even if it means being less than honest. 😐

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