{Ram Dass/Alan Watts Week 3: Day 15} Rowing or Sailing?

The fierce gale does not last the whole morning, nor does pelting rain go on all day.If heaven and earth cannot keep up these things for long, how much less can mankind?

This week, Alan Watts says, “You have to find out how to interfere along the lines in which things are already developing. This is like sailing a boat. It is much smarter to sail than to row because it takes less energy. You simply use the wind by putting up a sheet but then supposing the wind isn’t going where you want to go, then you learn to tack, but you keep the wind in your sails all the time and you use the wind to go against the wind.”

Where in your life are you rowing? How might you release the effort and use the wind instead?

Often times, when commenting on other’s comments in a community board setting as such, I do find myself, by necessity, largely, rowing, simply to get some sort of information flowing by which I can get a sense of how things are developing in that individual’s life. To give advice to strangers feels immensely awkward. I’m steeped in some sense, quite naturally, already with the very expectations people put upon gurus (that advice must be catered to the individual, that it must go beyond the abstracts, that it must be so potent and utterly perfect as it arrives, rooted in effective omniscience even…), and have come to learn that when abstracted these expectations really amount the very same best practices/norms that are expected of anyone giving advice to another.

These sorts of chat boards, however, are not long term social media profiles…we have to make strong efforts on them to try to communicate enough of our situations for bombastic advice to be feasible/probable… you gotta row a little bit, sometimes, just to try your hand at manifesting. But ultimately, it’s all about sailing…about getting to the now…and knowing what is happening in the lives of those we care about, as well as what we can do to be in service. To get there, though,I believe that you gotta row…for the sake of enlightenment culture itself.

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Super insightful reply, thank you for sharing :slight_smile: You’re right, these forms of communication and connection with others can often feel a little forced or effort-full, we never quite know how another will receive our message regardless of our intention - it’s interesting to play with the edge between rowing and sailing, especially when we’re introduced into non-familiar environments or non-traditional forms of connecting with another.