Clearing Muddy Minds
by Janice Chrysler
“It is said that once early in his journey to enlightenment while Buddha was walking from one town to another with a few of his followers they happened to pass a lake. Needing a rest, they stopped here. Buddha then called one of his disciples to him and asked, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.” The disciple, eager to help Buddha walked to the lake, prepared to bring back water.
However, just as he came to the water’s edge, a large bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As it did so, the water soon became very muddy. Looking at this murky mess, the disciple thought, “I cannot give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. Once more he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha there was no change in the water and it was still unfit to drink.
After sometime, Buddha again asked the same disciple to go back. This time when the disciple reached the lake he was happy to discover that it had cleared.. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked crystal clear. So he quickly filled his pot with water and brought it to Buddha. After looking at the water, Buddha turned to 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.”