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As always Buddha was walking with a few of his followers from one town to the other. En route they crossed a small rivulet. All the Bhikkus and the Buddha crossed the water body. After crossing some distance from the rivulet the Buddha told one of his disciples “I am thirsty, can you get me some water for me?”

The disciple responded, we just crossed a rivulet a while back I will bring water from there.Meditation

Since the group had just crossed the rivulet, the water had become very muddy and turbid.

The disciple thought “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?”

The disciple came back and told Buddha “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink. There must be another water body nearby I shall fetch water from there”

The Buddha told the disciple to go back to the same place but this time around wait for some time. The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy, but as the Buddha had suggested to him to wait, he waited for some time.

After some time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean. He collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be and the mud settled down on its own and you have clear water.”

Meditation is not “doing” it is happening / being; it is effortless.

I heard this story in my Art of Living course way back in 2004.