Stilling the Lake of the Mind

One of the yoga teachers who has most profoundly influenced my own yogic path is Rod Stryker. It was through his workshops that I finally found a way of meditating that worked for me (i.e. I actually did it AND got something out of it!).

In one of them he talks about ‘stilling the lake of the mind’. That image of my mind as a body of water that is often full of thoughts causing rough waves clicked for me. The many thoughts prevent me from really seeing or hearing my inner, authentic voice which is powerful, but quiet, as opposed to my fear voice which hollers at the top of its lungs and makes all the waves to begin with.

What I learned from my meditation practice is not only that difference, but also that when my mind is quiet I can see and hear my true self. My quiet, inner voice fearlessly speaks what is true in my heart and the ability to express what is in one’s heart lies at the center of creativity.

I took the above picture at a family vacation home in Maine. As I looked out over the lake early one morning, I was struck that the stillness of the morning water, before any boats have driven by or the winds have picked up, is exactly what my quiet mind is like. Just as I can see the entire tree reflected in the water, rather than the distorted version later in the day, I see myself clearly when my mind is still and quiet. A still mind allows me to open to creativity and discern what I want to express with my art.

How still is the lake of your mind? It takes practice, but over time a meditation practice is invaluable to hearing your authentic voice.

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