Put on some relaxing or healing music, sit back, relax your muscles, and allow your thoughts to flow in and out. Do not follow your thoughts.
Take three cleansing breaths, saying to yourself:
I breathe in light, I breathe out tension
I breathe in light, I breathe out sadness
I breathe in light, I breathe out light
Now, read on.
As you read, allow your attention to go over the words. Do not try to grasp, understand, believe or disbelieve. Just allow your mind to move on, above, through, over.
Then, when you have finished reading, allow yourself some time for reflection; and then share that- either with your personal journal, or with the group!
Once upon a time there was a beautiful lake in the middle of a forest. It was still most of the time, except when the thirsty forest creatures lapped at its sweet waters. Then the ripples would start, merge, expand, and blend in with the stillness in their outer reaches.
At the lower reaches of the lake, where sunlight barely penetrated, the gently waving reeds provided shelter and play for the fish and other creatures that lived in the lake. When the dappled sunshine reached the depths, it revealed a hidden spring of fresh water, which was the source of water for the lake.
One day, a poisonous snake came into the lake. Why had it come? What attracted it to this lake? It swam around, almost as if looking for something. When it found small fish, it ate them. At first, there was no other discernible change in the lake. But soon, the fish began to disappear; the snake began to grow. The reeds almost choked the spring. Was it a fancy, or did the lake begin to contract?
Forest creatures, sensitive to nuance, looked for other sources, and sometimes went thirsty. The lake had become dangerous, as the snake began to attack the smaller creatures which ventured to drink the water.
The situation seemed grim. It seemed that the lake would keep shrinking, the spring stay choked, the snake take over till it had destroyed that whole environment. For with the polluting of the lake, the forest too had its beauty dimmed.
Something was needed to get the snake to leave. But a savior seemed nowhere in sight.
Then one day, there was a storm. In the past, when storms came, they had broken a few tree limbs, sometimes throwing debris into the lake. Over time, the debris had decomposed on the shores and the deepest parts of the lake. But this storm was different. Winds rippled the surface, and as they drove the snake deeper into the lake, the effect of the movements cleared the clogs from the spring. The spring flowed once more, and after the storm had cleared, it was seen that the shores of the lake had expanded.
As it became bigger, everything about the lake changed. More sunlight could penetrate the depths as trees had been cleared around it. Many fish came. At first, the snake was content as it seemed it would have more food. Things changed, and no longer was the snake the focus of the lake. Animals were once more drawn to quench their thirst, or swim in the expanded waters. The beauty of the whole place was enhanced. Who knew if the snake had left the way it came, or been absorbed into the ecosystem?! It didn�t matter any more.
Things became the same, only better.
Our hearts are like a lake. When something hurts or pains us, we tend to contract the heart, to feel less loving, less giving, less caring. The paradox is, that helps us to succumb to the painful stimulus. The only way to escape it is to expand the heart: become more caring, more loving, more giving. Pain gets lost in the space of love and joy.
As we widen our perspective into the pain, we change our focus beyond it.
How can we do this? By accessing the spring within, that eternally renews and refreshes us, and which is a perennial source for peace. If we cannot access the spring ourselves, the resulting storm may seem so disruptive when it comes, but once we ride it out, it leaves clarity and expansion, and peace behind it.
As we focus on the eternal spring within, we gain perspective on our problem.
Share your insights. As we share, we grow.