Big Sur, California
Sitting next to the Big Sur river, my gaze settles on a very quiet spot. The water is very low at this time of year moving very slowly, but in this area is almost completely still and clear, almost like a small calm pool. Due to the calmness in this spot, the reflection of the trees above are almost completely clear as well and because of the subtlety of the image, I notice that the trees appear only slightly distorted in the reflecting water. This makes me realize that if the water were perfectly calm, with absolutely no movement at all, the reflected image of the trees would be completely clear and undistorted. And perhaps I would not have noticed the subtle significance of the distortion.
As we journey through our life, trying to understand what is real and what is not, we find that illusions are many. Mostly we find that our mind creates a myriad of illusory realities. I say this because, in all of the stories I’ve learned from nature, I’ve always realized they were simply mirrors of my own inner story, so the less clear the story, the less clear most likely was my own mind. Like the calm or turbulent river, we cannot see our own image clearly, especially our inner self image, while our mind is in turmoil or is creating torbid currents which create a distorted story. We’ve all heard of the ‘zen’ way of being and perhaps the clear, quiet stillness does indeed have the most to show us as it reflects the clearest picture of our true selves.