In last week’s letter, It’s Okay to be Fluid, I talked about how it’s okay not to be one thing all the time, that we are constantly changing, nothing’s permanent, and that we should embrace these beautiful transitions in our lives… like seasons… like a river.
Someone asked, “Can you give some examples?”
The first thing that came to mind was a little story that had a big impact on me several years ago.
As many of you already know, Krishnamurti has been one of the most influential mentors in my life. His book, The Urgency of Change, is probably the number one most impacting book in my life. I suppose aside from the bible. Some time ago I picked up Krishnamurti: 100 years, by Evelyne Blau. It’s a collection of a biography, photographs, and testimonials of people he influenced over the years… people like Bruce Lee, Aldous Huxley, Deepak Chopra, and Van Morrison. Another person he knew and influenced is a ceramicist and artist, Beatrice Wood. She shares a very poignant story I want to share with you. She went to speak with him because she was struggling with something:
”It had to do with jealousy. I am generally not jealous of other people doing art, but once I saw a glaze that I’d been trying to make. I juggled to get and hadn’t. I went up to Claremont, and here was this glaze I’d struggled to get and hadn’t. It was like a physical impact of jealousy, and I was horrified with myself. So I went and had a talk with Krishnamurti. These are not his exact words, but it’s the impact of what he made me perceive. He said something like this— All right, we’re all jealous. Don’t try not to be jealous. Drop it, and go on to another thought— and that has helped me in ever so many ways. I was not jealous about art, but jealous, I”d say, about people. This thing of trying not to be jealous, but instead to touch the stillness of the mind.”
Well, thanks Beatrice, because this has helped me in so many ways too!
Why this has helped me is because it is patient and gracious. Through this story I learned to be patient and gracious with myself. I learned to just observe myself and not be shocked by what I observed and to not obsess about it, but just to observe it and move on, to pass by, to drop it, and just move on to another thought.
I don’t just apply this to feelings, but to thoughts and beliefs as well.
Maybe today I notice I’m feeling a little religious. Maybe today I’m thinking atheist thoughts. Or believer thoughts. Maybe today I believe in a Divine Being. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m feeling in touch with the Universe or Mystery. Or maybe today I feel nothing at all. Or maybe today I’m missing the church. Or maybe I never want to darken its doors again. Maybe today I hear a worship song shuffle through my iTunes and I notice it brings a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat. Or maybe I quickly fast-forward. Yes, these all happen to me. Maybe many times a day!
Ripples! Ripples on the surface of the river of my life. All right, we’re all jealous. All right, we’re all religious. All right, we’re all atheist. All right, we’re all… whatever. At least some of the time.
So this is how we do it: we just notice what we’re feeling or what we’re thinking or what we’re believing, drop it, and go on to another thought. We don’t let it disturb us, upset us, or excite us. We just notice it. Drop it. Move on. Stop, drop, and roll!
Because deep down, beneath the wind and the waves, and even below the currents, there we are. There we rest.
I hope this helps.