Sit beside a gurgling creek. Leaping from bank to bank. The liquid circulatory system of the earth.
The water runs over sand, mud, spillways of stone, and pebbles. Ducking into subterranean earthen corridors. Consider why the flow continues. Why doesn’t that water absorb and trickle into aquifers?
How does the creekbed allow so much to pour over it, to pass by without letting it all soak in? Perhaps it’s a lesson we can learn and apply to our lives if we sit and listen to a stream for a while.
Pinpoint Each Splash and Drop
Begin by focusing the mind. Close your eyes and open up to the rush of the water. The dribble over stone, the crashing waves, the undulating run over a bed of small rocks. It all merges into the near-white noise of the stream.
But let the auditory circuitry in your brain sift all of the sounds. Identify each wavelength that contributes to the whole. The splashes, the -thunk- of water dropping off a boulder. Focus on the roar of this life-giving recipe until you find it hard to hear or think about anything else.
Allow the Stream to Erode Your Thoughts
Imagine the water rushing over the deep wrinkles of your brain. Splashing down into all recesses and thought canyons, where uncataloged memories await. Let the flush of liquid and scrub of sediment reveal the long-forgotten snapshots of your past, like gold and sapphire flecks in a pan.
Allow the perpetual motion to produce energy as with the slow turn of the turbine or millstone. Harness the gentle friction of moving waters to light up parts of your frontal lobe that have gone dark.
Allow the force of scouring liquid to wash out the flotsam crowding out the surfaces of consciousness. Clear out the errant data and unconnected information to be carried downstream.
Now consider how your brain might be able to let reality, let life rush across it without soaking it in. To interact with people and events without allowing the stream of others to stain. The drama and the anger allowed to race by before it can settle.
How does a creekbed manage this feat? Let so much rush past while not ingesting too much water, without drowning and losing its very channel?
Reroute the Deleuge to Clear your Head
As a final exercise, close your eyes. Recline if possible. With a thought, transform your brain matter, thoughts, and memories into a million tiny pebbles, all the different colors of submerged stone. Each pebble or grain represents a different subset of experiences from your life.
Imagine your skull is open and now serves as the headwaters for this stream, bursting forth from your brain that is now a collection of rubble. The flow pushes multi-colored rocks out in a slow tumble, to spill on the ground. The click-and-clack of falling rock adding to the cacophony.
Each piece of your personal history now exposed to the sun, the light, the moisture. Memories allowed to exist on their own, unconnected to other parts of your unique chronology.
Each recollection left to play out endlessly in different permutations, unburdened of having to follow your continuity and match up with the next milestone on your timeline. Your thoughts disassociated for an instant.
Forever in the backyard of your aunt’s house, or sitting on the couch watching a Disney movie with your grandparents.
And when you’ve flushed out every memory you have, all settled to form a new creekbed of thought from your mind, snap your fingers. The memory stones instantly reassemble into a brain-shaped organ and refill the gap left in your head. Each memory linking, connective tissue rebonding, and the chronology of your life lining up. But now with stronger bonds. The clutter carried out.
Your skull sealed up nice and tight again.
The Healing Power of Dancing Waters
Now each memory has been worn clean, the cholesterol of misremembered details and motives sent downstream. What’s left is a more accurate account of your life, the good moments and the growth moments.
The creek has its bed to handle the flow of water but doesn’t allow it to soak through. Just as you can learn to bounce off other lives and retain the positive nutrients and memories. Let the negative keep flowing past with the constant stream of your experiences.
Flotsam and foam will gather again and that’s why meditation isn’t a cure. It’s a lifestyle. Now you have a place to return to, in the woods along a little creek or where it flows in your consciousness. A place that is suitable to cleanse the brain and reassemble memories.
I wrote another article about the acceptance of the poisons in our lives that can’t always be kept out. It’s okay though. The streams of our consciousness are vast and fast-moving. The bad is mixed in as parts-per-million and parts-per-billion and we survive even when toxins are present. Find out how to use this restorative manta.