Panning for Gold – Your Own Wisdom

Posted by Dianne on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog | Tags:, , | Comments Off on Panning for Gold – Your Own Wisdom

If you have ever spent time in Colorado, you may have had a chance to pan for gold. It is a really fun and relaxing – and I admit – touristy thing to do.  In some ways it feels like journal writing on a very good day.

The process goes this way. You sit by a little stream in the mountains in an area known for gold. Using a shallow pan similar to a pie tin, you begin your search with a scoop of the nearby sandy soil. You fill the pan about two-thirds full and submerge the pan in the stream. The water allows the contents of the pan to begin moving. You gently swirl the pan. The heavier materials – gold flakes and black sand will sink to the bottom of the pan and the lighter materials such as gravel and light sand float to the top. (I find it fascinating that these excess materials that need to be removed to find gold are called “overburden.”) Then you carefully pour off the water and brush the “overburden” out of the pan.



Repeat as many times as it takes until nothing is left in the bottom of the pan but the fine black sand. Add just a little water to the pan and swirl it. If you are lucky you will see fine gold flakes buried in that sand.

This process also allows you to mine for the gold of your own wisdom. Here’s how:

  • Sit by a little stream – or anyplace where you feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • In an area known for gold – your gold is always with you, in your mind and in your heart.
  • Prepare your pan – or in this case your notebook or journal.
  • Begin with a scoop of sandy soil – or whatever material you can unearth from your head and onto the page.
  • Gently swirl the pan – shake those thoughts around, play with words.
  • Watch the overburden float to the top – as you write, you may learn what is holding you back. As your story pours out you feel your burden lighten.
  • Carefully brush the overburden out of the pan – and out of your mind, even if you must shoulder those burdens again when you’re journal session is over.
  • Repeat.
  • Repeat.
  • Repeat – None of those other philosophers and great thinkers figured it all in one sitting.
  • You will see fine gold flakes – If you keep at it, you will find the treasure you are looking for. Then you can share it with the world.


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