Monday Mantra: Stirring the Pot


When the mind becomes highly relaxed and alert at the same time, three wonderful qualities of mind naturally emerge: calmness, clarity, and happiness. Here is the analogy. Imagine you have a pot of water full of sediments, and imagine that pot is constantly shaken and agitated. The water appears cloudy. Imagine that you stop agitating the pot and just let it rest on the floor. The water will become calm and, after a while, all the sediments will settle and the water will appear clear. This is the classical analogy of the mind in the alert and relaxed state. In this state, we temporarily stop agitating the mind the same way we stop agitating the pot.

~ Chade-Meng Tan, Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)

Thank you Moira for pointing me to Chade-Meng Tan’s book.

Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work. Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world. (Source: Amazon)

Photograph: Darren Kim


  1. i like this analogy very much. reminds me of when we were little and my sisters and i would agitate each other on long car trips. much the same thing occurred. except for some yelling from the front seat in response to our agitation.


  2. Have you quoted him before (recently)? I ordered this book after reading something and I thought for sure it had to be one of your posts. Amazon says it won’t shop until late September.


  3. what a wonderful analogy for this Monday morning! thank you!


  4. I must place my brain on the floor…………


  5. Very good analogy.


  6. I too like this analogy. David Allen uses it in one of his books and calls it “mind like water”


  7. Hey David, glad to make a tiny contribution back to you after so many great ones from you. Happy breathing…. Moira


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