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  • aostaniforth

The Quality of Water



When wind blows over a lake, or the ocean, the water’s surface descends into a boiling mass of disturbance. Ripples, waves, commotion. And in this moment, disruption appears to be the intrinsic quality of water.


Yet soon the storm passes, and with it ripples fade, waves reducing in magnitude. Soon the tempestuous writhing mass returns to a sheet of crystal, reflecting the sky, trees and surrounding environment. Soon, chaos turns to clarity.


The sea and lake are like this in perpetuity. Calm, violent. Still, momentous. Yet their intrinsic quality remains the same throughout - the depths of both remain untouched come wind, rain, sun or storm.


The mind is like this.


When untrained, all small things seem relevant as they skitter across the surface, and if we give them attention, so our mind will mirror their chaos. When we pay attention to deeper more subtle sensations, we find how resourced we really are - connecting to a place of less volatile reactivity. Like the sea, our norm is calm and centred - a collection of currents and energies moving in harmony throughout our bodies. Keeping us nourished.


We too can be as stable as the calm below the storm when we choose to pay attention to our own natural rhythm. With patience, the body scan is a useful way to tap into this. Through this practice you may even begin to notice the impermanence both of storms and sunlight in your internal world.


With this awareness you gain insight into how to better respond when fresh disturbances come your way.

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