We are all garden hoses. The water flowing out of us is our attention, and anything that water lands upon grows. We know what it feels like to have that attention flowing fully; we have seen the effect our attention has when it is poured into something—anything—for any length of time. And yet, often enough, we notice the stream of our attention diminishes. We also notice that if we are say, writing, what we are trying to grow – be it a story or poem or novel – grows more slowly than we would wish. It would tempting at such time to somehow try to make that stream flow faster, to believe that what is needed is more effort, that somehow the stream responds to a demand for greater speed the way a horse might respond to a whip.
In fact, just the opposite is true. The stream has only one speed, and it is fast. Sometimes, however, a thumb of an idea blocks the flow of the stream and only half our attention pours into what we desire. The rest is sent spraying about the garden, growing dandelions when we wanted roses. We might not even know the idea is there, so transfixed are we by the anemic flow we are seeing; and we are certainly unaware of all those flourishing dandelions. Remove the thumb, however, and the stream flows easily toward what we desire.
Or, perhaps, our hose has a crimp. Perhaps this crimp exists far back in our hose, back near where the source flows. At such times we must take our awareness off of what we are trying to grow and turn it on ourselves, searching out the crimp that wishes to be relaxed. Beware; once you release the contraction the pressure built up may be great.
Finally, it might be tempting to blame the hose, but this is silly. The hose was designed with one purpose in mind: the free and complete flow of the stream. It is, in fact, the only reason it exists.
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