I remember the saying
Of the old wise man,
Lao Tse:
            "Muddy water,
            Let stand
            Becomes clear."

Thinking of that,
I look within myself.
I see,
On the screen of my
mind's eye,
A stream of water,
It is full of things.
I cannot see my reflection
In this water.

Now the movement stops.
The water is in one place.
It is heavy colored,
But it is becoming quiet,
The water is at rest.
In its stillness
The muddiness
Is settling to the bottom.


At the surface it
becomes clear,
I can see into the water
More and more.
Now I can see through
To the very depth of it.
There it shines
And it reflects.

The heavens are reflected
In the quiet water.
It is clear.
I see the reflection of a tree
In the quiet water.
The muddy water
Has become clear.

As I continue to look
Into the stillness
A reflection of myself
Begins to appear.
Deep in the quietness
Of the water,
I see
A reflection of myself,
In many different forms.


I sit
In the stillness
And let the image
shape itself.
It becomes many things.
Many images
Appear in the still water.
Many things
Come up for me to see.

In the depth of the water,
The images
That open the greatest vision
Within me
Are not those that are visible.
I do not see them;
I just know them.
Something within me
Recognizes them
In the still water.

The muddy water has become quiet.
I sit gazing into it,
Seeing images,
Visible and invisible,
Letting them change
And re-form themselves
In the depth of the still water,
In the depth of my Self,
Moving, moving,
In the Silence...In the Silence.

Ira Progoff,
The Mirror of the Water"


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