OshoZen: Ace of Water (cups)

Briar Rose

OshoZen: Ace of Water (Cups)
"Going With The Flow"

The card depics a figure floating through water (floating through Life?).

To me this card means to bend like a reed. I can do that.

However, I don't get the part in the book where it reads, be non-ambitious. I can undertsand about not ploughing through Life, but non-ambitious? I don't get it.

Judith D

Very buddhist - non-judgmental, not choosing, just going with the flow. I think many people understand 'passive' as 'weak' but to me it just means letting the rest go by without involving yourself - and can even show inner strength in that you resist peer pressure, or the latest fad.
For me, non-ambition means you are not frantically pursuing a goal with such determination and one-pointed vision that you don't see what is around you. Ambition would have you swimming across the stream, or upstream, struggling against the natural course.
To be 'available to the currents of life' means that you go with the flow of the waters of life, let it take you and show you all that there is to be seen and found, that you do not latch on to one thing and miss the next ten.
The card shows that you are a tiny drop in the huge ocean of life, but it also looks comfortable, relaxing. You can relax within it, let it support you, instead of struggling and sinking.
If you compare this with a 'traditional' ace of cups: that is the beginning of the flow of emotion, the surge of creative feelings, the beginning of the journey of emotional development. Definitely the same feel.


To me it means not grasping and clawing and trying to stay ahead of the rat race. Not having to have the status items or the latest "toys". Being able to just relax, be who you are, let the flow of life take you where you need to be. No need for the newest car or the name brand clothing.

The book speaks of how water always seeks the lowest ground. For me, that means not seeking to be ahead of the crowd or stand out, but to be subdued, staying on a spiritual rather than a material path, and leading a simple life. If one does that, it may seem to others that you're low "on the totem pole", but in Buddhist thought, this is not only alright, but the best place to be.


I think it's a challenge to go with the flow, this concept is all new for me. For a good part of my life (if not all of it) I have been fighting the current, and suffering for it. Only, now, am I finding solace in letting go, letting God. I think that's why I love to meditate, it just helps me to "see" properly.
I recently heard of a theraputic method of helping people with severe migraines. The person would get into a bathing suit, get into this pod like apparatus filled with about 5 inches of water& salt (for floating)...get in there in complete darkness for like 30 min. People have said its kept them from having a migraines for months at a time, and this is what this little looks like, just floating along, deprived of outside interference, connecting deep within as life unfolds a few feet at a time.

Alan Ross

The statement in the LWB that water "searches for the lowest ground" comes from the Taoist text the Tao Te Ching:

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.
(trans. S. Mitchell)

This has long been a favorite passage of mine. It's nice to know I don't have to push to get ahead of others or shout "look at me! look at me!" in order to experience a harmonious flow of life.

When I encounter ambitious people, I try not to get in their way. They are usually in a hurry to get someplace else, and they are often not very careful about who they run over in the process. Their ambition exists to feed their egos; these are people who want to be important and special. They are not content simply to be.

Does being "non-ambitious" mean you can't accomplish great things? I don't think so. Great things can be accomplished when the motivation is a passionate commitment born of a caring heart. Look at what Mahatma Ghandi accomplished. Yet for most of his life, his only possessions were his glasses, a homespun robe, a bowl, and a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.


I believe the correct saying is that water finds its own level, meaning that what goes around comes around.

The karmic cycle of life is what this card reminds me of. For every action there is an equal & opposite reaction. This is especially noticeable to me when I am floating in a pool. You move your arm, your whole body moves in a different direction.

I notice also how the figure is submerged in the water except for right knee & right elbow. Definitely looks like it's swimming. Maybe even about to do a back flip. Just having fun. An uncomplicated card.


Perhaps you are on the wrong path with your life, and so, the message of this card is to relax, go with the flow, because the Universe knows where you should be - and the water is the vessel that will carry you there.

It's about having faith and trust in something higher than yoursElf.

The hard part is relinquishing control.

with love


I pulled this card for study immediately after working my way through the suit of Clouds and WOW what a difference.


Interesting. I didn't think that Buddhism drew that clear a distinction. In fact, I still don't.

Clearly, however, this card is a very positive one in this deck. It shows a figure resting on the water like one rests on the breath during meditation.

The LWB quotes Lao Tzu and Jesus. Let me add one more philospher, Heraclitus: "You can't step into the same river twice." This card depicts being in-the-moment in a most inviting way.