The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”

The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment,

Not seeking, not expecting,

She is present, and can welcome all things.


Lao Tzu


When our lives get stressed and chaotic or when unwanted troubles and pain overwhelm us, the more we struggle the more we get entangled into the web of anxiety, anger or depression. During these times we learn the lesson from muddy waters. If left alone, the mud slowly but surely settles down to the bottom bringing more and more clarity as we look into that water. We begin to see the reflection of the sun, the moon, the stars and the whole of creation in all its divine grandeur. We see ourselves in our essence, just as we are, as the Divine Image and Likeness, the Divine Breath! We experience the Divine Presence in every fiber of our being and every moment of our lives.

Stress has tremendous gifts. It is an invitation to be centered and become more resilient. During these stressful times our inner being is drawn to connect with people who care about us and/or reach out to others in their pain. When we allow ourselves to feel part of broken humanity we begin to live more peacefully, effectively and even our bodies begin to rejuvenate. They say that stress never harms us but our attitude toward stress does!

Carl Jung believed, “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order” (Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious). Chaos, therefore, is an invitation to live a more authentic life, becoming more and more our true selves. We realize that we are part of the cosmos and the cosmos is in our essence. Imitating the sage, we detach ourselves from the outcome of our chaotic life and welcome all things just as they are. We stand back, surrender our chaos to the Universe and watch “muddy water become clear” and give birth to a dancing star.



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9 Responses to The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment

  1. Tresa says:

    Paul, what a wonderful inspiration. Stress and chaos is part of life. It is true that the aspect of us that created this stress and chaos becomes more and more clear if we can wait for settling down without our obsessive thinking and impulsive behaviors. It is true… I wish during this coming year we possess this strength not to interfere and to wait in patience to settle the things that lead to chaos and stress and to reveal to me the stars and the moon and me as I am. Thank you for this inspiration Paul.

  2. JOE DAHLEM says:

    This came as flood waters fill my heart with great fear. The muddy waters rush Past calm refreshing pools of life yet the essence of water remains. To a thirsty bird those fear filled waters are welcomed. To one who foolishly built on a weak foundation the waters cause regret for poor choices the flood waters will reveal. Learning causes one to rebuild with greater understanding.

    Peace Paul

    See your amazing divinity Your amazing beauty I love you


    Sent from my iPad


  3. Mark Rudis says:

    Good words my brother! My own life grew more stressful in recent days as the river waters grew closer to us. I struggled a little not with the river but with my own judgement about how to proceed and maintain. The well being of others was the cause of most of my stress until it occurred to me that I was trying to dominate and control under the guise of protector. I had a lesson to learn, this magnificent river taught it to me. I needed to humble myself and accept the decisions of others as well as the waters I thought I had to battle. I wont say that this flood was for my benefit but I will say that I have grown as a result of it. My path through the flood waters or through life is not the only one. My path is right for me but I must respect those who chose another way. Their choices are also a part of my path, how I react. In fact I do not need to react if it is an effort to engineer another’s path. This is in parallel to the river levee designed to steer the path of great rivers. When tested they almost always fail as they did in a neighboring community. I need only recognize the beauty and life force of the river and the beauty of our differing paths or methods which all seek a common destination, peace.

  4. Diane says:

    Ah, wading through the mud of huge life transition. Sometimes it felt more like quicksand , pulling me deeper and deeper. Staying the course, the quicksand has become merely mud, then muddy water. To put it another way walk in the fire, fire became intense, then continuing on smoke and finally the light of day has begun to shine through the smoke.
    How much I appreciate the light of day after spending so much time in the mud/fire, muddy water/ smoke. So grateful for a time of peace and some clarity.
    I know that another flood or firestorm could be on the horizon, we never know what tomorrow, or even later today will bring, that is what makes these little spells of peace so valuable and appreciated.
    Thanks you Paul for sharing this lovely musing of yours.

  5. Henri says:

    Not two not one….and so it is with all creation….

    “Imitating the sage, we detach ourselves from the outcome of our chaotic life and welcome all things just as they are. We stand back, surrender our chaos to the Universe and watch “muddy water become clear” and give birth to a dancing star.”

    Great Spirit, God, grant me the grace while doing all I can to alleviate suffering in my own life and in the lives of others I may ever “stand back ever present” may I “welcome all things” and that You may flow through….

  6. Val says:

    Thank you, Paul. This is beautiful — and I believe it to be true.

  7. The new year calendar for 2016 has blanks for every daily box. A new year and last year’s chaos is gone. Fools me every year. The chaos and the doingness still exist, don’t they? Your reflection, Paul, reminds me that I need to be still. I don’t need a new year or an empty calendar to be still, I can be still and let the water settle anytime. In the clear water I will see my own feet. Just knowing my feet are still there, I will be able to dance! I hope that when I dance, others will find their own feet and we will all dance together.

  8. med7861 says:

    The patience to wait till the mud settles is definitely a challenge. Reacting comes much more naturally. The peace that is experienced when I let go of the outcome and of other people’s response is all I need to continue on this path. Waiting till the mud settles, being still so I don’t contribute to the chaos- and the water clears.

  9. Paul, this again is so pertinent to the circumstances that I am encountering at this very moment in my life. It seem like the world is testing my patience and is waiting for me to react to their assertions, but I really want for the mud to settle and for for things to take care of them selves.

    I am really inspired by your definition of stress, and the fact that is has tremendous gifts of becoming more resilient and the fact that stress draws us to connect with people who care and allows us to reach others in pain. I really feel the inner peace now that I have allowed myself to feel the pain of stress. My attitude towards stress will always be positive going forward.

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