Originally Posted by Gem
Yesterday I had become overwhelmed by the expectations of my job and become anxious and stressed over it all, so I went outside and looked at a tree. Nothing special, energies and the like, but because I took a spell from keeping up with the pace, and stopped just to look at something, the frantic energy I had built up dissipated, and after a while, I realised how long it had been since I thought about my problems - and really, I couldn't figure out why I had been distraught in the first place. Even though my circumstances had not changed at all, same pressures, same problems, all just the same, the way I was changed and went from high tension to 'whatevs'. In essence, I had simply stopped imagining and started looking and then I was seeing it 'as it is'.
My story here is not special. There are no amazing things in it. It's just a stressful day at the office and how it really didn't need to be. I had no special energy experiences or anything like that, just ordinary daily things, but it comes back to fundamental principles of Buddhist meditation, to be aware, and see it 'as it is'.
Perhaps ordinary and not particularly special, but amazing nonetheless. I know this state of mind, or at least something similar. I believe the Taoists might call this “flow”. When things come up in our lives that we don’t like we look for ways to resist or defeat them. Sometimes we look around at the world and notice so much we see as wrong and feel the need to “fix” it, but how? The mind often goes into overdrive looking for solutions or ways around something. Sometimes running out of control and tripping over itself, stressing us out, sending our emotions soaring, and tying our thoughts into a knot. The mind starts playing guess the future games with chains of cause and effect, but they branch out in every direction and it just keeps getting itself lost. Sometimes, the conflict between the perceived need to take action, and the fear of taking the wrong action can cause the mind to focus in on the problem until it occupies nearly the whole of our awareness. Zoomed in, the ant hill appears to be a mountain. We become as they say, ‘lost in our thoughts’.
While taking a walk and appreciating nature may not provide the solution to the original problem, it does provide the mind a way to refocus using a wider angle lens, providing a solution to the problem of the mind being clouded over with its own thoughts, and perhaps more importantly, its own fears of all the “what ifs” that could go wrong. Looking back again at the problem without judging it, and/or immediately trying to find ways to resist or overcome it, can provided a clarity of mind that sometimes allows the solution (which is sometimes to do nothing at all) to almost effortlessly flow out of the mind, or even seemingly out of the problem itself. It can sometimes feel like magic. All that is required of the mind is for it to get out of it’s own way, and yet this is often so hard for it to do. Sometimes the struggle can even become the mind trying to get out its way. Like Laurel and Hardy both trying to go through a doorway at the same time, a vaudeville of the mind.
“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.” Norman Vincent Peale
Perhaps sometimes we just need to stop blocking the sun and allow enough light through for the seeds to grow.