Unclogging the river of mind

Imagine yourself walking up to a river in the middle of the woods. Big tall trees lean their branches over the river and the water flows effortlessly downstream. You sit down on the riverbank and focus your whole attention on everything that is around you.

This is your mind and your relationship with it. You are not the water or the beautiful fish moving through it. Nor are the thoughts that swim through your brain yours, they just exist in and of themselves. Thoughts flow through our heads but they are not ours, they just are. They are spontaneous creatures that react to the world and our experience of it.

The river represents focus and the natural flow of the mind. It is continuous and ever moving. The water is being and the “stream of consciousness”.

Naturally debris flow down the river and compile on the sides. Sometimes a log will get stuck and pile up with some branches that broke off the trees. Eventually the flow can be stopped and your mind can no longer flow.

When we become attached to our thoughts, we build dams in that river. We start with something insignificant or profound and thoughts build up until eventually that flow halts. We are utterly consumed by our thoughts. Nothing can fix this problem other than letting it all go.

Let these thoughts go. Don’t hold onto them. Start at the roots and stop classifying it. Whether those thoughts be “does this person love me?” or “what is wrong with everyone else?”. It can be less significant because anything can build into a dam. Experience things without the label of “good” or “bad”, just let them be as they are.

When I’m struggling mentally, I walk up to that river and sit. I look how the water flows and I see those thoughts floating down the river. They enter the mind and gather in one place until the river is halted. By letting the deep thoughts go, the whole river can clear. I choose to pay them no attention and give them no importance. They are, after all, just thoughts.

This is what we should strive for; the free flowing of the mind. When we attach too much to thoughts we stop the flow of being. Choose for yourself to let the river flow and detach. Love the river, love the debris, and let it flow.

73/365

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