Mirror Lakes Along The Way To Milford Sound, New Zealand

Reflections on Mindfullness

This is a beautiful analogy that is commonly used in Eastern literature and Indigenous Traditions to describe a calm and quiet Mind.

Imagine a pond or a small lake at sunrise, the surface is so calm that the cloud and passing birds are reflected as if by a mirror. In this place of Mind reality is very clear and very authentic. When you look into the Sky you see a beautiful Hawk, and when you look into the pond you see a Hawk.

Water RippleNow imagine a slight breeze is blowing across the pond you can still see the clouds (more or less), but the Hawk could be any kind of bird. In this reality, the Mind (the pond) seems blurry, and it takes great attention and focus just to trust or even perceive the images that arise.

As the Wind increases, the reflections are almost unintelligible. The clouds seem to be everywhere at once and the beautiful Hawk can look more like a Pterodactyl being torn apart. It may even seem as if some kind of Monster is going to leap right out of the water…

This analogy of the Mind is very applicable to the practice of Introspection (looking inward with appreciation) and Meditation (Mind Fasting). The more agitated and restless we are, the less our minds can reflect Reality clearly. It does not matter what is causing the waves – it is that the waves Must be noticed and accepted. It is just the “weather”.

Imagine looking at the Full Moon in the Sky. Now imagine looking down at its’ reflection in a puddle on the road. As a wind arises the Moon begins to look like an Alien craft or a serpent. Stomping on the puddle will not improve the reflection. Although seemingly kinder, even kneeling down and carefully attempting to smooth out the water with your hand will not improve the reflection. Perhaps “trying” to improve the reflection is the greatest distraction of all. (If you can imagine another let me know)

The guidance that I have received thus far in my life has led me to this understanding. We Must accept and understand the weather. Regardless of where the Wind is coming from. Wind generates change and growth in Life. We Must accept and understand the Reflection. As the Wind calms, as it will from time to time, the Mind will find the space to see itself. It is possible to look away from the reflection – the separate and individual Mind, and to experience Reality directly and completely. It is possible that it is unnecessary to have an intermediary between the Sky (Reality) and ourselves (perception).

At least that is what the Wind keeps whispering in my ear.

In the Daoist Tradition, this is experience is referred to as Ling Xin He Yi (灵心合一)This can be translated as the “guiding and creative Wind of Heaven being harmonized and unified with ones Heart/Mind”.

In the Dineh (Navajo) Spiritual Tradition, this experience is referred to as Ntse’hakees. This can be translated as “what is coming into (through) your Mind is the same as the Universal Mind (the good Mind)”. The Universal Mind is understood to be generated by the Holy Wind (NiLchi’i). NiLchi’i is the energy/perception which permeates and enlivens all of Creation.

May the Wind in your life be gentle.

May you find the stillness and resolve to look into the Sky.

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