The Analogy Of Water

"Echo in the Valley." Featured in Drawing Mountains and Water by Zhang Shung. See a larger version of this painting.

You Are Floating in a River Created by Your Desires. Learn to Go with the Flow.

One of the most useful analogies that I have ever heard about life is the River Analogy. It goes like this:

Imagine you are floating in a river that is flowing to everything you've ever desired. That is what life is! When life is hard, you have become disoriented, turned upstream, and are paddling as hard as you can against current of your desires. Here is where you must stop, rediscover that you are in a river, and that the river is flowing toward everything that you desire.

Remember this and life can be easy and fun!

"The stream" featured in Drawing Mountains and Water by Zhang Shung. See a larger version of the painting.

Learn to Identify Thoughts as Upstream or Downstream

Most moments of the day your mind is busy thinking thoughts. Once you understand the River analogy you can begin to identify thoughts that cause you to turn upstream or thoughts that keep you flowing downstream. Upstream thoughts feel bad, downstream thoughts feel good. Get to a point where you are feeling good most of the time and you will begin to see evidence that you are on your way to your desires. Feel good consistently for 30-90 days and you will see your desires unfold easily and effortlessly.

Absence of Thought is Like Floating

Thoughts attract similar thoughts. This process also can build momentum. If you are stuck in a spiral of bad feeling thoughts, it is best to clear your mind through meditation or by focusing on activities that encourage a quieter mind. This can be painting, calligraphy or taking a walk in nature. Quieting your mind is like decide to float in the River. If you stop swimming with your thoughts, you will rediscover the river and begin floating towards your desires.

Beliefs That Keep You Away From Your Desires

The hardest way to live is to have strong desires while at the same time holding strong beliefs that keep you from your desires. One example is:

I want so badly to be an artist. Unfortunately, I was born with no artistic talent.

Just reading this sentence even if you've never held the belief has the feeling of dissonance and struggle. If we go back to the River analogy, strong desires is like a fast moving river. Strong beliefs that are opposing your desires are like big, unneeded pieces of wood attached to your boat. The beliefs slow you down and are likely to hit things especially if the River is flowing fast.

If you have strong desires, it is important to jettison any beliefs that may resist those desires. They are bad habits that are only true in that you have focused on them too much and made them your reality.

If your opposing beliefs are too ingrained to release, then just change the subject. Don't focus on your desire if it comes with the baggage of these kinds of beliefs. You don't need to focus on your desire to achieve it, you just need to focus on something that makes you feel good. This can be anything from painting to a loved one. This is why spiritual teachers often instruct you to "follow your bliss."

Could Life Be Easier Focusing on the Things that Make You Happy?

Life can be an easy trip down a beautiful river, enjoying the view as you float to everything that you ever wanted. You are a handful of good habits away from living this reality ever single day. We would like nothing more than to see you living this way. We believe in you! We are here to help.

You are in a river and the river is flowing to everything you've ever desired. Will you go with the flow?

Artist improvement

Leave a comment