Clearing Muddy Waters

Muddy WaterParamahamsa Yogananda’s younger brother once asked him a question regarding meditation. He confessed his difficulty in clearing the mind of thoughts and finding one-pointed focus while meditating.

Yogananda did not answer the question directly but asked his brother to bring him a glass of water and some mud. He then poured the mud into the glass of water and stirred it till it became uniformly muddy.

“You see that the water is muddy, but can you see individual particles of dirt?” Yogananda asked.

“No,” replied his younger brother.

“Now wait for a while,” Yogananda responded.

After some time the mud settled down and individual particles could be seen floating in the water.

Then Yogananda explained, “Many thoughts are constantly vibrating in our consciousness. So much so that we are unaware of the barrage of thoughts whirling in our mind. When we sit to meditate we find our mind clouded with this restlessness. Soon individual thoughts stand out, like the particles of dirt settling out of the water. But just because you now become aware of these thoughts, don’t think you are becoming restless! Many people give up at this stage thinking that they are not succeeding in their meditation. Wait patiently. Continue to meditate. In time all thoughts will settle and your consciousness will clear of all restlessness.”

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