Lessons of a Child

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Lessons of a Child

Postby DAKO » Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:08 am

When around 9 years old, I was given a lesson by one of the greatest masters I have ever come into contact with, my grandmother. This lesson continues to open different facits of awareness for me even today. I would like to place it here and continue to learn from others and perhaps it may help someone else.

As a very young child, I happened upon a beautiful small lake hidden in the mountains. The water was crystal blue and so clear you could see the fish as they swam close to shore. This was the first spot I found at the age of 6 years old that I felt helped me in my "meditations" or learning to find the stillness within. Anyway, I went there and sat for hours at least 3-4 times a week.

One afternoon I hurried off after school to the lake. I was very excited and looking forword to my turning inward after a hectic day in public school. I ran toward the lake and could feel the anticipation and excitement rising as I drew closer. When I broke through the trees to my favorite spot over looking the lake my heart felt as if it sank to the bottom of a dark pit. My beautiful, clear blue lake was murky and muddy. I had never seen it this way in the 3 years I had been coming to the lake.

I attempted to compose myself and sat down in my spot to begin, but I could not quiet myself. Out of frustration and despair, I jumped up and ran back to find my grandmother who would know why this had happened. When I ran into the yard where she stood as if waiting for me, I began to cry as I told her how my beautiful clear blue lake was now muddy and I could not concentrate because I didn't know what happened and that my heart felt as if it was torn.

She smiled down at me and firmly said, "You will find no answers here." Then she told me to return to the lake with this question, " In a muddy lake, how much clear water is there?"

I wish to know how others might answer that question. I continue to see new insight into that simple question every time I say it. I would like to know what others may see.

Thank you
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Postby kiki » Fri Sep 23, 2005 5:20 pm

" In a muddy lake, how much clear water is there?"

A Zen koan if ever there was one - beautiful. Your Grandmother sounds very wise. Wonderful story.

I would answer her question thusly: do clouds hide the sky, or only seemingly so?
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Postby summer » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:00 pm

What an intriguing question? I don't know the answer. I suppose that the water is still the same, but with all the mud in it, it certainly changes the way it can be used.

Did you ever learn how the lake became so muddy? And did it become clear again when the earth settled to the bottom?
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When in Doubt, What Would the Cat Think

Postby DAKO » Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:05 am

Thank you kikki and Summer for your replies.

I learned after 5 days and nights at the lake that it really doesn't matter how much clear water is in a muddy lake. It is still what it is. i was not able to accept the change and had allowed my mind to place lables and dictate to me what was good and bad. I realized I was looking from outside myself to find the peace that comes from the stillness, the lake could not give that to me or take that from me.

The first thing I noticed that began my return to the now was that all the animals that came to the lake and lived in the lake, didn't seem to notice the change. They were more accepting than I was. I've observed animals all my life to help guide me on simplicity.

The lake returned to its former appearance shortly after that. I still return there when I'm able.
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Postby summer » Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:08 am

Dear DAKO,
you write with such beauty and insight. Your story of the muddy lake has touched me deeply. Thank you.
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Postby DAKO » Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:58 am

summer,

thank you for the connection
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