Washing Clean the Heart
The Waterfall Writes
The waterfall is beautiful
flooding the mountain side
like tears of all the empty;
like verses long denied.
Rushing violent waters
stampede through the rocks
bringing thoughts so quickly
my mind is tied in knots,
blending at the surface
of a lagoon so clear and blue,
enmeshing with the memories
of dreams I shared with you;
creating hope for future;
washing clean the heart.
The waterfall is lovely.
I wonder where it starts.
by Joyce Carol Gibson
This is the second time I read that line “washing clean the heart”. The other time was by Rumi. Very powerful line. What does it take to wash the heart clean? What does it mean? Why is it so powerful? I got to thinking about time flowing like a waterfall. Time just falling, passing like water, rushing by, never stopping. Where does all the time go? And what are we doing with our time in this life?
I was working out at the gym today reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow while I was on the elliptical. I wanted to remember how the state of flow comes about. Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus. How can we attain this beautiful state of flow? Surely you must have experienced it, yes? Like the time you were painting and lost track of time fully engrossed in the activity. Or it might have been when you were making a very special dish. Pure creation. Very little separation between creator and creation.
According to Csikszentmihalyi “We must learn to achieve mastery over consciousness itself.” [To find flow and happiness]. Is that right? Is that how we achieve happiness? Mastery over our thoughts? I really don’t know that for sure. What is your opinion on this subject of happiness and thought?
But here is the paragraph that stopped me dead in my tracks. Hit me like a sledge hammer.
“Each of us has a picture of what we would like to accomplish before we die. How close we get to attaining this goal becomes the measure for the quality of our lives. If it remains beyond reach, we grow resentful or resigned. If it is at least in part achieved, we experience a sense of happiness and satisfaction.”
I started thinking I am wasting so much time and energy in my business and work. But what about our life’s accomplishment. Personally I spend way too little time on what matters to me most, spiritual attainment. Some call it enlightenment. Is the statement above correct? Do we experience happiness and satisfaction if we achieve in part our life’s accomplishment? Is this true? I invite your comments. Because myself? I am really not sure.
I titled today’s post “Washing Clean the Heart” because I want to know what washes us clean? Is it freedom from thought? Is it beauty? Love? What does it for you? Is it spiritual attachments? Meditation? Flow experiences? If not, what?
Feature Photo Credit: Waterfall in Iceland by Liese Mahieu purchased at Dreamstime.com
Iceland is a mountainous island nation in the north Atlantic Ocean, located between Europe and North America. Though not part of the continental mainland, the country is considered European. The name of the country – Iceland – may not be that appropriate: although 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers, it has a surprisingly mild climate and countless geothermal hot-spots.
Iceland was first inhabited by Nordic and Irish people in the 9th century AD – tradition says that the first permanent settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking who made his home where Reykjavik now stands. It is thought that Irish monks had temporarily inhabited the island some years prior to this. The Icelanders still basically speak the language of the Vikings.
Despite its name, Iceland has surprisingly mild winters for a country at that latitude owing to the warming effect of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, especially when put into comparison with the Russian one. Iceland enjoys a maritime temperate climate and the winters are often compared with those of New England (though the winds in winter can be bitter). However the rapidly changing weather has given rise to the local saying: ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!’
It’s the kind of place where it’s not unusual to get rained on and sunburned at the same time – some Icelandic people also believe that if the winter is hard and long then the summer will be good and warm. The summers are usually cooler and
more temperate than elsewhere at the same.