Milk and Muddy Water
A great yogi once said , “God is milk and God is muddy water, but we know not to drink the muddy water.” Really? …..it’s that simple?……. Some days you sure couldn’t prove that by me. It seems as if muddy water is ALL I drink in. Then I wonder why I don’t feel so good. Maybe not enough milk?
Maybe you are wondering why would anyone would choose to drink muddy water? In the yoga tradition we would call that Avidya or lack of knowledge. Our conscious mind may not even be aware of the fact we are drinking muddy water but our ” buddhi” mind or true Self has the vidya or knowledge within to know this. Maybe when we were kids growing up there just wasn’t enough milk to go around in our family. Maybe someone gave us the muddy water and told us it was just as good and we believed it. Maybe someone told us we couldn’t have milk unless we did something “good ” to earn it. Maybe these old beliefs make us think we don’t deserve milk. Milk is love. Love is milk . We simply can’t live without it. It’s our first cup we receive in life and the elixier that makes it all bearable somehow.
We know from our yoga meditation practice that God is inclusive of ALL things, milk and muddy water. There is no concept of good vs bad in yoga, it is a nondualistic practice. Yet our mind longs to go from pleasure, to pleasure,to pleasure and not have any difficulty at all in our life or our practice. We also know, its impossible to climb a smooth mountain. It takes all those deep cracks and crevices to give us a foot hold sometimes. There are many peaks and valleys as part of the one path that leads to the Great Heart.
As we begin to peek inside our hearts and minds into these old cracks and crevices, we become aware of this relationship between drinking the muddy water and not feeling so well. The first step to creating change is always awareness. We first have to realize what we are taking in before we can change or limit its content.
One good way to focus our awareness in meditation is the naming of thoughts such as fear, judging, thinking, etc.This naming process can help us to realize when our mind is stuck or off track in our practice. I like to just break it down into milk or muddy water. Its simple that way and doesn’t distract me. Somedays Ive got a lot of milk and just a bit of muddy water. Somedays it’s just muddy water, muddy water, muddy water until you would think I must be sitting in a giant cesspool of some sort. Some days are like that. The muddy water days build our Self compassion muscles. They offer us the opportunity to celebrate with great gratitude every tiny sip of milk we drink in.
Self observation through meditation gives us the opportunity to direct our focus of attention on the object of our choice. We can choose to set down the glass of muddy water or at least let it settle and become clear for awhile .
Every now and then, some situation may trigger our old habits and we find ourselves reaching for that old familiar cup wanting to taste the muddy water again . If this happens, please remind yourself to take only a small homeopathic dose medicinally, just so your heart doesn’t forget to be immune to it!
Bottoms up. What’s in your cup?
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