Finding Focus: Lessons from a Flickering Flame and a Flowing River

The traditional oil lamp, the diya, flickers in a silent room, casting a warm and inviting glow. This simple object, with its steady flame, offers a profound lesson on focus and determination. When undisturbed, the flame stands tall, burns hot, and radiates an intense heat. Try placing your hand over the flame, and you’ll retract in an instant, startled by the strength of its heat.

This unwavering flame is akin to the mind when it is in a state of complete focus. In this state, our minds, like the flame, radiate an invisible energy, a potent warmth that fuels our actions and emanates wisdom. This unflinching focus can guide not only us but also illuminate the path for others.

But, let a breeze flutter through the room. The flame flickers, dances, and sways in the uncertainty. The radiant heat, once intense, seems to lose its vigor. You may place your hand over the flame again, this time the heat isn’t as ferocious, but it still exists.

This wavering flame reflects a mind disrupted by distractions and diversions. Though the intention to focus remains, its intensity wanes, and so does the warmth it emits. This is a reminder that the power of focus can be easily disrupted by external influences if not guarded consciously.

Let’s think of another analogy to describe this: a river. In its focused path, it carves valleys, moves boulders, and shapes landscapes. Its power and consistency are unmatched. But when its flow is disrupted, perhaps by a dam or a natural blockade, it loses momentum, gets scattered, and its ability to shape the landscape decreases.

However, the brilliance of the flame, as well as the river, lies in their innate resilience. Despite the gusts of wind or blockades, they strive to regain their composure, to regain their force, to continue their existence. They teach us a valuable lesson: Even when our focus wavers, we must strive to return to our path, to rekindle our flame of determination, to regain the river’s flowing momentum.

These analogies impart a spiritual lesson on creating a protective shield around our focus. This shield consists of our self-discipline, resilience, and our consistent practices, which act as buffers against the winds of distractions or obstacles in our flow. With these in place, we can continue to shine our inner light, provided we remain unwavering in our focus.

So, as we journey through life, let the steady flame and the flowing river guide us. Let their dance teach us about the importance of focus, about the resilience in the face of adversity, and about the potential to shine and shape landscapes despite challenges. Let us ignite our inner flame and allow the river within us to flow undeterred, guiding us towards the ultimate truth.