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November 15, 2010

To Be Like Water

It would be most wise to emulate water. If there is a river and it is warm outside, the water warms and gradually becomes warm. It does not fight to be cold. It does not struggle. It accepts the warmth and acclimates itself to it. Conversely, when weather turns cold, so does the water. It does not think ‘I want to be warm’ or ‘I do not want to be cold’. Once again water changes. There is no argument. There is no suffering. The water simply changes and goes with the change in weather. The water does not put up futile fight.

Often, people do fight it. When things change, we often are not so readily accepting of changes. If water wants to be warm but it is cold, it simply becomes cold water. There is Buddhist expression, “when warm, be a warm Buddha, when cold, be a cold Buddha.” Do not fight it. Do not get caught up in negative emotions. Let us suppose it is sub-zero for many days. The water turns to ice. This can be a metaphor for when we have extreme sadness or anxiety. Even though the water turns to ice, it is still water. It does not change the basis of what it is.

People going through emotional issues sometimes do change. They become much different than they were before. They are not remembering law of the water. They are no longer made up of solely water. They add negative hurtful emotions which are like adding foreign elements to water. We all have sadness, we all have suffering. Remember the ice though. When the warm rays of the sun melt the ice, it turns back into water once more. It stays pure even though it went through a temporary change. If we add negative behaviors to our water as it freezes, when it melts it is not pure water anymore. It has been polluted. The negative behaviors also make it harder for sun to melt our ice. We can learn a great deal by paying attention to water.