Relief: The Soothing Waters of Tecaboca

The late Alan Watts popularized Zen Buddhism for Western audiences in the The Way of Zen and other books. He presented the idea of “sitting quietly, doing nothing.” Muddy water will eventually become clear when people stop stirring it. Individuals with difficulties would do well in sitting quietly not thinking about their difficulties and clearing their mind of all thoughts.

About 10 years ago, I felt this first hand. My boss got after me big time over a trivial item. What is more was that I felt that I was right even after his ranting and raving. This bothered me into the afternoon of the next day when I was taking vacation time in Kerrville, Texas. Even a vanilla milk shake at Pompell’s, the historic building with an old-fashioned soda fountain, did not help. A little while after finishing the milk shake, I drove to the roadside park that is about 16 miles north on highway 27. The park overlooks a plateau, the Guadalupe River and hills, making the park one of the most scenic in the state of Texas.

There is a dam and a waterfall about 100 feet below the park. The waterfall produces a constant powerful but gentle roar. I sat at the park just listening to the roar. About 10 minutes later, I realized that yesterday’s incident seemed like it happened years ago.

Since the park overlooks Texas Catholic Boys Camp (Tecaboca) where I had spent happy times as a camper and later in the kitchen crew, the positive feelings were easy to generate.

The lesson is that there are relaxing techniques that have nothing to do with drugs, alcohol, shopping, overeating, gambling and such activities.

Ed O’Rourke is an environmental accountant in Houston.