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Pushing the river

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In Buddhist thought there is something called pushing the river.

It relates to going with the flow.  When  a flowing river moves rapidly and with force, going against the flow, is not suggested; you use up all your energy fighting the force of the current and don’t get very far.  That is pushing the river, it brings discontent and is an unproductive use of energy.

Going with the flow allows for ease in movement, the river current glides you down without much effort on your part except to perhaps guide your way and avoid obstacles.

Flow and movement through life follows the same course.

An example of pushing the river in the flow of life occurs when the difficulty in flow is through delays or difficulties, and you get angry, anxious, and try to push through the problem.  Often the outcome is a complete block and non-movement with feelings of anxiety and frustration (inner feeling of being blocked).

Not pushing the river means accepting the delay and allowing the flow of the situation to Flow.  So if you are speeding in traffic and you keep getting red lights rather than speeding up to try to get to the green light, you slow to the pace of the cars, the flow, and through this you will begin to get the green lights.  It’s getting into sync.

Sometimes the delay is because of an attachment or an unmet expectation in that case communicating about what you want may result in you getting in sync, and that is like allowing the current to take you down the river while you guide your course and avoid obstacles.

Other times, no matter what you do the Flow is delay and interruption, in that case it is a mindset of pushing, that may need to shift to get into the flow.  This happens when you keep getting red lights and to get into the flow you relax and look for hawks in the sky or listen to music you like and trust that the situation is going to turn out ok.

To assess whether you are pushing the river, notice your attitude, feelings inside, and the energy around you.  Pushing the river is stifling, and generally carries a pushing and irritable or frustrated feeling.

Allowing, going with the flow, and getting in sync have in common the feeling of ease, comfort, and relaxation.

Being mindful, focusing on perception, and shifting paradigms as well as applying a compassionate lens are useful ways of being in the world to remain in the flow.

See you tomorrow.


Author: instinctivehealthparenting4u

Author, Integrative medicine practitioner, psychotherapist. Albuquerque, NM practice, focus on return to balance and the integration of spirit, mind, and body through meditation and mindfulness. Monthly trainings, & professional and personal development coaching. Find more on my website Read my books, Turning NO to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness, Turning ME to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness (, for increased internal wellness and alignment with your spiritual purpose, and to activate joyous love and light, bg

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