Murky Waters

I was recently exposed to a metaphor from Henepola Gunaratana (Buddhist monk) in his book ‘Mindfulness in Plain English’,

‘Our mind is analogous to a cup of muddy water. The longer you keep a cup of muddy water still, the more the mud settles down and the water will be seen clearly.’

Isn’t this a beautiful way to qualify the noise in our lives? Isn’t noise the mud and sediment that distorts reality and doesn’t allow us to see and think clearly?

Bruce Lee also used water as a metaphor for how to approach life. One of my favourites is the behaviour of water when you punch it. When you punch water the water gives way, leaves space for the impact, then returns to its previous state when the disturbance has passed.

While we cannot control our external environment, if we visualize the internal environment of our minds in a more physical way, it can help us quiet the noise and see the noise for what it is. 

The wonderful part about wisdom we can see is that the visual reference it provides makes it less ambiguous. And in the ultra-murky waters of noise in our lives, clarity needs to be our focus.


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