The story of Flow (the river) and Rocky (the boulder)

Posted by Chiu Chi on 7 August 2020 | 0 Comments

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Once upon a time, there was a big boulder named Rocky. He was a mighty rock. He was big, he was strong and he believed the world was a hard place. 

Rocky believed in showing strength and resilience. He was one to always ‘stand his ground’ and weather the elements without complaint. His motto was ‘endure and resist’. Through the pelting rain, the hailing ice, the howling wind and scorching sun – he stood, unmoveable, unshakeable and resistant to all.  

From his place alongside the riverbank, Rocky glared harshly at Flow and said “Look at you - you are weak, compliant, and accepting of all thrown at you, into you and put in front of you. You allow your waters to be dirtied. Your journey is determined by those meagre sideliners – the soil and stony embankments.  You let people in and offer yourself to them. I, the mighty rock, would never be as weak as you”. 

Flow smiled and said “I am going down the valley to irrigate and sustain life. I know I may take on pollution and my purity will be compromised in the process, but it is great fun experiencing, sustaining and creating life. Would you like to come along Rocky?”

“Bah!” said Rocky. “You are both foolish and degenerate. You must stand your ground and not let others push you around and poison you with their ways. And to say that you actually enjoy it!”

Flow laughed and said, “Well, I’m off to be my flow. Talk tomorrow!”

Conversations such as these went on between Flow and Rocky for ten thousand years. During this time Rocky was still in his ‘hard place’ and yet Flow had witnessed fields being seeded to feed millions, great cities being built, great forests flourishing, children swimming and playing and animals feeding – the whole pageantry of ‘life creating more life’.

As he flowed with life, Flow would babble about the many rivers of life that stream from and through everyone and everything. He would hum:

For all, let Life Rivers flow.
For earth’s parents, let Life Rivers flow to their children. And may they create more life on earth.
For earth’s animals, let Life Rivers flow to their young. And may they sustain life on earth. 
For earth’s trees, let Life Rivers flow to their seed. So that earth too may sprout with life.
And may Earth’s Life Rivers flow, so that we can humbly wade in heaven’s tide – creating, sustaining and growing more life with love.  

“Mumble, mumble, mumble. That is all you do!” grumbled Rocky. “All day you chant this nonsense. I can’t understand a word.”

Flow rippled a smile and said, “Rocky, it is you who I am singing to. I have sung to you for the last 10,000 years and I will sing to you for the next 10,000 years, and more!”

Rocky retreated into his stony silence.

Another 10,000 years passed. And one beautiful day, Flow said to Rocky, “my dear friend, you look positively radiant today. You are full of life!”

Over the ten thousand years that had passed, the constant flow of water, wind and sunlight, Rocky the boulder had developed a crack – an in-road that Flow gradually enlarged just by doing his thing – constantly flowing. One day a little bird dropped a seed into the crack and 100 years later Rocky had changed. He was now the foundation and custodian of a mighty tree which had grown from seed - a tree that is a mother to thousands of seedlings. He was green with moss (and looking a LOT cuddlier!), and he was now a conduit for the flow of life and love.  

“Ah Flow,” Rocky responded, “I finally understand what you’ve been babbling about. I am now very much in the flow! In the flow of receiving and giving life!”

This story represents the struggles we face in earthly life. While Flow gets contaminated as he embraces and sustains life, he renews and purifies himself by meditating on the “One Life where all life flows”, so that he may flow down as pure life-giving waters repeatedly – just like a river! But often, like the boulder, we hold tightly to our possessions and places, our rights and our wrongs, our expectations and our ‘truths’.  In our stubborn refusal to accept and embrace the ebb and flow of this everchanging life, we create resistance within ourselves. However, the flow of life is irresistible and fractures in our stony facade will inevitably appear. The key is to recognise these tiny cracks and see them as incredible opportunities to allow more life and more love to flow in. And when this happens, we realise that we too can offer more life and love - to the planet, to each other and to ourselves. 
With my hand on my heart, this is my wish for you.

Peace be with you,

Chiu Chi