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The sound of water

I sat by the poolside, legs crossed and the warm sun shining above, with water droplets running down my cheek and dripping from my ears, I closed my eyes and drifted myself into the sound of water.

As I meditate, I could hear children’s playing around, parents shouting to kids to play safe, swimming Instructors yelling at the learners, footsteps threading on water by the poolside, coming near me, and then left in a hurried pace. I knew these footsteps are playful children who just love to run along the poolside.

I could feel the sound of water forming in the dark world in front of me, like streaks of lights, dancing in different forms. Splashes by the children, the soft crashes on the wall of the pool, or even the murmuring of the water when it attempts to calm down.

I opened my eyes, 10 minutes has passed, yet that 10 minutes was just right to bring enough peace to my world.

When I plunged myself into the water, the world seemed to have come to a – not still but – slower pace, a pace that is suitable for me.

The world is quieter, the sound of water movement seemed distant, the rhythmic bubbles dancing elegantly, appearing and disappearing in an eye’s blink, just like all things and happenings in this world.

I saw the sun ray piercing through the water, casting circles and irregular shapes of light streaks on the tiled floor of the pool. They were silent but I could hear them.

Like a frog and with my arms’ slow movement, I moved forward, creating waves and ripples along the way. Above water level, I could hear everything clearly, and as my head dipped into the water, the sound became distant and blurred. It’s just a matter of a breath away, and the world seemed different.

Haven’t I always heard this: life and death is just in between a breath?

As I swam, I chanted the Heart Sutra silently – “all things are non existence, no life and no death, not dirty nor clean, no addition and no subtraction…”.

Life is amazing, life is strange, life is unpredictable, and life is like the water, no form and no shape, yet ever changing. It follows the situation and when all elements are present and put in place, things / events are created and happen. Then we see and feel all that have been created or happened.

And the moment an element is missing, or a new element is introduced, it will change, no longer the exact thing that we see from the start.

I’m not in control of the elements, nor have I any control over how they move. But I’m thankful that my wishes are often responded, and while I have to go through ups and downs, it’s just lessons for me to learn.

It has been said that we can never find the same river. With a blink of an eye, the river in front of us will not be the river that we have seen. Just like the ripples and bubbles right in front of me vanishing quickly, and yes, it was the same pool I was in, but it was no longer the same as the one I saw a few moments ago.

From the sound of water, I could hear the birth and death of life. And through it, I realised, there is no birth and death. It is “I”, who created the birth and death – of the sound, the ripples and the bubbles.

Memories flashed through, there were joy, there were disappointments, there were laughter and there were tears. Going through all these, I was clear that it’s all a matter of the heart.

So I know, no matter how hard I try, things will never go back to the same when it was before, I just need to learn and accept that. It may be better, it may also be worse, who know? Perhaps, it’s really time to move on, without hesitation, leaving behind only memories that will trigger smiles on the face.

I wish I can be like the water, letting it be wherever I go, taking on life’s challenges as it is, without judgement and without fear, for they are all illusions and temporary.

Buddha said in the Diamond Sutra: “All that exist, are nothing but illusions.” Have I misunderstood this…?


Francis Lim


9 replies »

  1. 心是工畫師,能畫諸世間。
    我們都是自己想像的模樣。 生命的樣貌也多是我們想像的一小段景色。 在執取與放下之間,細細品著轉折,放下了,就好。 (我昨天晚上的自言自語~)

    Liked by 1 person

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