We went to the river today. The weather in Georgia has been hot and cold; today has been a cool and pleasant day. It is nice to get out in nature, be amongst the trees, the rocks, and the water. It speaks in a way that no person could.
Nature gives instruction with out uttering a word.
“The Sage teaches with out speaking, accomplishes without action.”TTC
I learned so much simply by being in the presence of a great teacher: the outdoors.
While taking a break from walking, I found myself staring at the water in the river as it rushed by moving over the top of the rocks in its glossy flow. The sun shone overhead as trees hung their new spring leaves over my head and reflected in the water.
I noticed the way the water reflected the trees as it rushed by. A distorted image of the trees emerged in the water, and an idea blossomed in my mind.
As I sat there peacefully, taking in the view, my mind went to how insane I felt yesterday and how the world seemed off to me—watching the river, I realized where I was yesterday.
The mind is like a mirror, and when my liquid mirror is in disarray moving and rushing in every direction, it reflects life in a distorted way. It is not that life is wrong or harmful, or even not as it should be; it is simply that my mind is moving too fast in some direction to reflect life as it truly is.
When I allowed myself to calm down, go to a meeting, vent my insanity, meditate, talk to other people working through their insanity, my mind was able to settle.
“Can you let your dust settle and allow action to arise naturally, Letting things settle every thing finds its place.”TTC
My mind calms and settled; I was once again able to reflect on the world as the perfect assembly, all its pieces in their proper places. All people moving and doing just as they should. Every player, playing the part they are to be playing in this moment.
The river taught me that.
And it also showed me that sometimes we move faster, and sometimes we move slower. Sometimes we reflect the truth of reality, and sometimes our perception can be distorted, but the fact remains, we are still flowing to the same place. It is the nature of things.
I am not sure if Lao Tzu was ever speaking of a person when he was referring to the Sages in the Tao Te Ching, part of me is starting to believe that Lao Tzu was speaking of nature. Maybe one day, I can be in harmony with my true nature and allow it all to flow as easy as a river on a cool summer day.
Either way, the peace I found sitting on a rock watching the water was the lesson I needed, and the teacher did not say a word and did not act, but I understood every word and every movement.