Background: The novel ‘Illusions: Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah’ has a pretty amazing scene. The protagonist is told to use the power of his mind to eliminate a group of clouds on the horizon. He spends the afternoon turning the whole of his will to the task. And he is thoroughly unsuccessful.
The man’s mentor explains that the main character is entirely to emotionally wrapped up in the task to have ever been able to eliminate him. He would have done far better to withdraw his energies from the clouds than to invest himself.
This is a useful story. Sometimes, as we try to overcome our thoughts and feelings we develop such an intensity that we will never be free from them. Imagining that we are at a riverside, and seeing them all float by is a useful way to release these, to overcome our attachment to these distractions.
2. Imagine that you are sitting by the side of a river. Picture the temperature and the sounds and the smells. Smell the air. Furnish a picture in your mind of what it looks like.
3. As best you can, clear your mind. Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
4. Thoughts, feelings, and memories will arise. When they do, place them gently on the river. Allow them to be carried away.
5. Return to your breath.