Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.

What did Elizabeth Gilbert mean by:

Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.


This quote is a metaphor that ⁤explores ⁢the concept of self-reflection and self-understanding. ⁤The ‘running⁣ water’ symbolizes a busy, chaotic, and distracted mind,‌ where thoughts and emotions⁤ are constantly flowing and changing. In such a state, it’s difficult to‍ gain clear insights or a deeper understanding of oneself because everything is in flux and nothing ‌is stable or clear. It’s like trying to see your reflection in a turbulent, rushing stream – the image will be⁣ distorted and unclear.

On the other‌ hand, ⁤’still water’ represents a calm, focused, and meditative mind. When the mind is still, like a serene ​and undisturbed lake, it becomes a clear mirror that can accurately reflect our true self. ‌It’s in this state of tranquility and clarity⁤ that we can truly see ourselves, understand our thoughts and emotions,⁢ and gain‍ profound insights into‌ our inner ​world.

In today’s fast-paced world, we’re often caught up in the ‘running water’ state – constantly busy, distracted, and overwhelmed by ⁤a stream of thoughts, tasks, ‍and information. This makes ⁢it hard for ​us‍ to ⁣truly understand ourselves,‍ our needs, and our desires. By learning to‌ slow down, quiet our minds, and cultivate mindfulness – essentially, turning ‌the running water into still water – we can gain a clearer, ‌more accurate understanding of who ⁣we ​are and⁣ what we want. ⁣This is not only beneficial⁣ for our mental health and well-being, but ⁣also for⁢ our​ personal growth and development. It allows us to make more⁤ conscious, intentional decisions that align with our true self, rather ‍than being swept ‌away by the rushing current of external influences and internal chaos.

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