There’s an artificial river nearby my community, but it doesn’t connect with a lively flowing water, so after a period of time, it will become dark and foul smelling, especially in summer. The dead water will give bacteria opportunities to attach and grow, in fact, it is not the water itself that becomes rotten, but the attachments with water!
When your mind becomes dead water, there will be a full stink smell of afflictions. The anxiety and stress will not only adhere to, but also grow into thicker and heavier attachments. They will block your thinking and breathing, until you become too exhausted to care about them, or forget them with changing conditions. But the exhaustion and forgetfulness will not improve the quality of the water.
The only way to improve the quality of the water is to keep the water flowing. And the flowing mind will not allow afflictions to stay and grow. But how to keep the mind flowing? Haha, it is too simple to be recognized…The mind itself is FLOWING! We just need to recognize that and keep awareness on the flowing moments with attaching to any moment. Then you will find that the anxiety, stress or fear is just a temporary state of mind, which is wrongly regarded as a solid form. The mind has no fixed form; its “form” is the state of flowing moments.
So no affliction can stay anywhere, but when it is attached to the “mind without form” by the reverse concept, the mind is blocked by attaching to the “solid form”. The exhaustion and forgetfulness may dissolve the difficult time temporarily, but they will also cultivate the inertia of attaching. So we should find a way to “exhaust” afflictions, to “forget” the wrong concept. That is to keep awake on the flowing moments of mind without attachments.
There’s a Chinese poem, one of the sentences is: Ask you my friend, why is the water so clear and clean? Because it has a lively flowing source!