Water Park Wisdom (Part 1 of 3)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My calves are really sore today. Prolly cuz I walked all over a fabulously fun Water Park in Denver yesterday called Water World. I went by myself - long story - but it was the last weekend it was open and I hadn't gone in years and thought it would be fun. So I went and had a blast - even all by my lonesome.

The "wisdom' part comes in when I got on one of those waterslide/river run type rides. It has a short slide and then a small whirlpool type area followed by another short slide and then another pool and so on. Problem is that when you get to the pool, you sometimes get stuck just floating round and round and round it for awhile before you even get a chance to make it down the next slide.

On my way up the path to the start, I saw people on the ride getting in these traffic jams in the small pools and I almost turned back. I was all by myself and I thought it might be awkward. But then I realized I had just been talking on this blog a couple of weeks ago about living life 100%. My bad. So I kept going. 

When I got to the first pool and started to get stuck going round and round I began to try and push myself off the sides to try and get to the next slide but then realized, "Why am I trying to rush this? Isn't life frantic enough without feeling like I have to rush thru this ride? So what if I float around a whole lot first? Why can't I just calm down, relax, and enjoy the moment? What's the rush?"

So I chilled out and just let the water take me where it will. And it was nice to just let go. I noticed that most everyone else on the ride was doing what I had first started to do - almost getting frantic when they couldn't immediately get to the next slide.

As a society we are so caught up in faster, better, stronger, smarter, hurry hurry hurry! Timelines, meetings, appointments, schedules, errands - places to go, people to see, things to do, things to be. How can we let go of the rat race and just be where we are and not worry about where we're going or how or when we're going to get there?

You know, one of the things I noticed, was that even if I got going around in circles for a while seemingly with no purpose or direction, there was always a moment when someone would come along and nudge me down the next slippery slide to the next pool where I could then continue my journey. And it was nice to just sit back, stop trying to control it and let it happen.

As always, here are some thoughts on this topic from the writings of different world religions. And, as always, please feel free to add your own.

"Therefore, consider how base a nature it reveals in man that, notwithstanding the favors showered upon him by God, he should lower himself into the animal sphere, be wholly occupied with material needs, attached to this mortal realm, imagining that the greatest happiness is to attain wealth in this world. How purposeless! How debased is such a nature! God has created man in order that he may be a dove of the Kingdom, a heavenly candle, a recipient of eternal life. God has created man in order that he may be resuscitated through the breaths of the Holy Spirit and become the light of the world. How debased the soul which can find enjoyment in this darkness, occupied with itself, the captive of self and passion, wallowing in the mire of the material world! How degraded is such a nature! What an ignorance this is! What a blindness! How glorious the station of man who has partaken of the heavenly food and built the temple of his everlasting residence in the world of heaven!" (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 185)

"Tranquil inaction has given place to love of disputation; and disputation alone is enough to bring chaos upon the world." (Tao, Chuangtse (Lin Yutang tr))

"Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or exhale whilst contemplating impermanence, or the fading away of passion, or extinction, or detachment at such a time he is dwelling in "contemplation of the phenomena," full of energy, clearly conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief." ((The Eightfold Path), Buddha, the Word (The Eightfold Path))

"Purity, constancy, control of self,
Contempt of sense-delights, self-sacrifice,
Perception of the certitude of ill
In birth, death, age, disease, suffering, and sin;
Detachment, lightly holding unto home,
Children, and wife, and all that bindeth men;
An ever-tranquil heart in fortunes good
And fortunes evil, with a will set firm
To worship Me- Me only! ceasing not;
Loving all solitudes, and shunning noise
Of foolish crowds; endeavours resolute
To reach perception of the Utmost Soul,
And grace to understand what gain it were
So to attain,- this is true Wisdom, Prince!" (Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))


KC said...

To let go of control is scary, but has to be done (at times) in order to grow. Put the worry and control in a higher power. I enjoyed your "a-ha" moment in this blog. Thanks for sharing!

Justin Johnson said...

Thanks KC! Thank you for responding. That is what it is all about, isn't it? - giving up that worry and control and having faith in that higher power. I'm wondering, if you "keep the faith" should or would there ever be a time that you try and take control back? I mean, ultimately, are we ever really and truly in complete control?

Justin Johnson said...

Don't get me wrong, I believe in free will. But the choices that we make and the actions that we take - we ultimately don't have much control over how they are perceived and whether they have the impact that we had hoped. So many different things in the world beyond our control can "foil" our plans. That is the type of control that I am striving to let go of - the fruits of my labor and the results of my efforts. If I can just take the steps (based on my values) that I know are right and leave the rest to that higher power, I will live in much more peaceful and joyful state of mind.

Anonymous said...

You left out Matt 6:25-34

Justin Johnson said...

Ooooooooo....that is a good one. I purposefully leave some for others to throw in, so thank you Anonymous!

6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

(King James Bible, Matthew)

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