Sunday Zen: Waiting for the Water to Clear

“Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?”

— Lao-Tzu, Tao-te-Ching

mixed media art piece by Courtney Putnam

I am sitting with Lao-Tzu’s words this evening and wondering if I have the patience for clarity to arrive. Sometimes progress seems so slow, doesn’t it?

I am going to take Jon Kabat-Zinn’s advice for this process (and perhaps you might want to experiment with it, too):

“Work at allowing things to unfold in your life without forcing them to happen and without rejecting the ones that don’t fit your idea of what ‘should’ be happening….Notice how if you can make some time early in the day for being, with no agenda, it can change the quality of the rest of your day. By affirming first what is primary in your own being, see if you don’t get a mindful jump on the whole day and wind up more capable of sensing, appreciating, and responding to the bloom of each moment.”

— from Wherever Your Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Imagine starting your day, not with email or Facebook or a list of “to-dos,” but with a quiet moment of sensing your own presence and your own inner longings and desires. What if you started each day right there inside yourself before you did a thing? What if just being, for the time being, helped your water to clear even just a bit?  What if?


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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