Going Against the Stream

“The Buddha described the dharma as ‘going against the stream.’ As long as one swims with the current of a river, one remains unaware of it. But if one chooses to turn against it, suddenly it is revealed as a powerful, discomforting force. The ‘stream’ refers to the accumulated habits of conditioning. The practice of dharma means to turn around midstream, to observe mindfully and intelligently the forces of conditioning instead of impulsively reacting to their promptings.”

~ Stephen Batchelor

Olympic-Day 5


Filed under Quotes

4 responses to “Going Against the Stream

  1. I wonder if renunciation is about going against the stream as well. I wonder to if our Buddha Nature is going with or against?

    • The stream metaphor applies on multiple levels, of course. I get the impression that awareness and intention, and the inevitable discomforts of mindfulness, are the central message here. Ultimately, going against the stream of conditioning means going with the flow of reality itself.

  2. You and I are on the same path. Turning around midstream is discomfiting and always illuminating.

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