Fighting the Flow


Usually we’re fighting the flow, trying to swim upstream, wanting something we can’t have, having something we don’t want, always struggling. It’s this kind of desiring and seeking that keeps us from really being free.
Our relationships are the same way. All a person has to do is give up trying to be right; step aside, be empty, be selfless-or at least try to approach that state. As soon as the resistance is gone, both persons are free to grow and mature. Instead, we’re constantly struggling, hanging onto our own positions and ideas, preventing not only ourselves from growing, but others as well.
We are always searching for a state of permanence. We want good things and wonderful feelings to last forever and that which is painful or uncomfortable to end as quickly as possible.

We fear change and so we create beliefs, religious institutions, philosophies, political theories, and economic systems that reinforce the illusion of security and safety. We are afraid we will lose what we have attained-our families, jobs, homes, positions, possessions, knowledge, and accomplishments.
Our fear of change and our greed to control have caused us to become attached to what we have and how we live. We have slowly been stopping the flow of the river from bringing fresh new water to revitalize our stagnant pool. Little by little we have been deadening our experience of life.
When we always seek permanence and security while resisting pain, discomfort, and fear, we can be enticed into a life of greed, corruption, and evil in order to maintain our comfort. Once caught in such a position, we are afraid to come out, to explore, to understand our own mind, to live life fully, to encounter truth, reality, God.
Instead, realize what your karma is and stop fighting it. Follow the flow of the stream. As soon as we turn around and go with it, it’s no longer painful. The resistance is what creates the struggle. It’s just like two hands that are constantly struggling against each other. As soon as one hand stops resisting, the other hand can go free.
Zen Master Genpo Roshi founded the Kanzeon Sangha, an international Zen community in 1984, with groups and centers throughout Europe and the U.S., and is abbot of Big Mind Western Zen Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, which he founded in 1993. He discovered the Big Mind process in 1999. His newest book is Big Mind Big Heart: Finding Your Way. You can visit his website

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