Pushing the River

Yesterday, a friend said to me: I’m done pushing the river. I immediately felt it: the huge energy drain of resisting a force with its own momentum. Or trying to hurry events that are going along with their own pace and timing.

It turns out that this is a saying: “Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.” I love this. Yes, I try pushing the river. All the time. Getting ahead of things, ahead of myself.

I see this, and then feel the relief of letting go of my agenda. Releasing control – well, as much as I can right now. Trusting the flow and how things go. Or simply sitting on a smooth rock up-creek and watching the currents, feeling the changing movements of the water around my knees and ankles. Resting in the middle of it.

I’ve recently returned from Tassajara Creek, with a week at Tassajara Zen Center, assisting a yoga and zen retreat with Patricia Sullivan and Eijun Linda Cutts; before that, a week of assisting Judith H. Lasater with her Advanced Relax & Renew restorative yoga teacher training; and before that, a week of immersion in iRest(R) training with Richard Miller.

It’s been an amazing summer, and many blog posts and yoga poses are bubbling up from all the learning I’ve been so privileged to receive. But for now, I’m brimming over and ready to rest in it and float along for a bit.

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