Bang in the middle of a river rapid in Rishikesh, our instructor is screaming at all of us (eight people) not to paddle and to just let it be, to do nothing. Our raft is shaking badly on the waves and we are scared that the raft is going to turn upside down as we are not doing anything with our paddles.
To our collective surprise, no disaster happened. The opposite occurred – within 30 seconds we sailed through the rapids easily without applying any paddles.
While driving back to Delhi, one of my friends had an amazing insight when we were reflecting upon our scary rafting experience. He wondered, wouldn’t it be a good idea if we didn’t fight (paddle) with the problem (rapids) and just be there as curious observers, doing nothing for the time being.
I am sure that most of us might have experienced such moments in life where not fighting with a problem either cools down the problem or reveals a workable solution. However, we are not able to use this as a conscious strategy because we usually forget about it after sometime and start behaving in accordance with our old conditioned mindset.
It reminds me of a beautiful story of Buddha. Once Buddha was walking from one town to another with few of his disciples and asked one of them to bring some water from a nearby shallow pond. When the disciple reached near the pond, he found the water quite muddy because one bullock cart had just passed through the edges of this pond. He returned empty handed and informed Buddha that water was not clean.
After half an hour, Buddha again asked the same disciple to fetch some water to drink. A little confused and reluctant, the disciple returned to the pond, as his master wished. To his utter surprise, the water was absolutely clean and fit to drink. He collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water… Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”
What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘peace of mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside.
Share your experience(s) when just letting yourself BE worked!
Chandan runs a company named Blue Consulting Pvt. Ltd. , which specializes in providing Finance, and Accounts outsourcing services to MNC companies and professionally managed Indian companies.
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