Fish Meditation

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While snorkeling, I observed a small wrasse hovering over a coral outcropping. A wrasse is a tiny but beautiful fish; a very unassuming creature. This wrasse became my “Roshi” or Zen teacher.

I hovered over the fish, observing. It remained nearly motionless. Every now and then a corner of a fin would flip a little, and it would return from where it had drifted. It expended the minimal amount of energy necessary to get it back over the relatively easy pickings of the reef outcrop. 

It ate anything edible that came its way, and took life as easy as possible.  I floated over the wrasse, essentially weightless. Every now and then I moved my hands an infinitesimal space, or angled one of my fins enough to keep me hovering over the fish and the coral reef, my arms outspread. Watching. Learning. The fish was expending the minimum amount of energy to survive. Keeping in place. Not worrying about going anywhere, not trying to be anyplace but here. The feeding was fine.

I think of that Roshi often. When I am focused on a task, I try to do my job. If I must depend on others, I try to see that their jobs get done without my worrying or micro-managing. As long as my needs are met, I can get through the stressful times of life by doing the minimum possible to survive. You may lose a little ground when the going gets rough, but you’ll get back to where you were eventually.  Let yesterday and tomorrow take care of themselves.

For now, just be.

-From the Fibromyalgia Advocate by Devin J. Starlanyl, M.D.