The Parable of the Shallow Well

There is a wonderful story about a man digging a well.  He would begin digging down and after five or six feet of digging, which is very hard work, he would find no water, and so he would climb out of the little hole he had made, move twenty feet over, and dig another hole for his well. But after digging about six feet down, he would give up again, move twenty feet in another direction and start digging again.  This went on, and on, and on, and he never found water.

So it is with the restless ego pursuing yoga, seeking ornaments for an improved self-image and new ways of feeling better, but avoiding the true facts of life. When the school or practice becomes difficult–which is precisely the entry point into reality–it is at this crisis point that you really have to drop your pretenses and keep digging deeper into the experience.  However, all too often it is right at this juncture that we tend to give up the practice. We move on to a ‘better’ teacher or a ‘more interesting’ school, rather than sticking with it and investigating the inner work that is the purpose of the school and the teachings in the first place…

Most traditions of yoga are designed to inspire us to dig a deep well from precisely where we are within our own unique circumstances. By digging deeply we come across a direct experience of what is happening right here, right now…

The Mirror of Yoga by Richard Freeman

Dig Deeper


  1. Well said! Unless you have a specific goal in mind (like you want to become a Siddha!) it almost doesn’t matter WHAT you’re practising, as long as you’re practising it with the right aims and attitudes. After all, the only thing you’re going to find in there is you… I’ve discussed this issue in a book I have coming out later this year, details on my website.

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