Are you struggling over a relationship or friendship even – wondering what to do? If you are, the following taken from a book I was given for Christmas called Whole Heart, Whole Horse by Mark Rashid might help.
There is a term in Japanese: Misu no kokoro. Translated: “A mind like still water.” It means that when you look out onto a completely still pond or other or other body of water, when there is no wind to create ripples or waves on its surface, the water takes on a mirror – like quality. Everything on the other shore reflects perfectly on the surface. You can see blades of grass, trees and bushes, and perhaps even a bird flying out of one of those trees or bushes.
Yet if we do something to disturb the water, such as toss rocks or even simply stick a finger in the water, ripples are immediately sent out, creating a distorted picture of what we are looking at. Of course, if we sit long enough and stop throwing rocks, the perfect image returns; we can once again see the reflection of those things on the other side for what they really are. Ultimately, the idea is to avoid any ripples in the first place.
In many martial arts, the goal through training over time is to develop misu no kokoro – a mind like still water. When the mind is still, like that body of water, everything that is presented to us is reflected clearly and for what it really is, instead of some distorted image. By having a truly clear image of a situation, we can make an informed and calm decision as to how it needs to be handled.
However, a mind that is busy thinking about this or that or making judgments about the situation that may or may not be accurate is like throwing rocks in the water, and we quickly get a distorted image of the situation. As such, the situation becomes increasingly more difficult to deal with, if we are able to deal with it at all.
Put simply, developing a quiet mind allows us to take in and process information in a true and correct manner and then respond appropriately, in a way suited to the situation, provided the situation even needs a response.
As Christians this can be likened to meditating – taking time out of our busy lives to still ourselves and allow the still quiet voice of God to minister into our situation.