Learning from the Ocean
I'm in Mexico. There's a beach a few steps down from the bungalow I rented. It's a slight little inlet with big rocks on either side shielding it from the full strength of the waves.
I sit just on the edge where the water can lap up around me with every wave. I watch the waves coming in. They look powerful and huge, and then they crash against the rocks, which cuts about 75% of their power.
The weakened waves rush toward me, and they still look like they might engulf me, but just before they do, the previous wave sucks under, heading back to the ocean, stopping the oncoming wave short so it just laps around my ankles.
Another wave comes, building momentum, and I feel sure it will wash over my head, but at the last moment it is undercut by the previous wave and splashes my knees.
Another wave comes in, this one bigger and more powerful, and I feel a little trepidation as I think maybe this time it might knock me over. And this one manages to knock against my belly
roughly, and I giggle.
This repeats, some smaller waves and some larger. Over time the waves are getting a little bit bigger, until finally one manages to muster enough strength to hit my chest and nearly knocks me
I laugh and I give the ocean my respect. It starts to feel like we're communicating, playing a little game. The ocean is humoring me, it could knock me over at any instant.
And while this is happening, I start to think about how people use water metaphors when they talk about emotions. The feeling passed over us in waves, we sometimes say.
And I wonder what's going on in our bodies and minds. What are the metaphorical rocks and undercurrents that protect us sometimes from being knocked over?
Why can sometimes we keep the waves at bay for years, and other times they sneak up on us in a flash?
How do the waves build up power so eventually they end up overpowering our defenses?
What is the mechanism by which we can sometimes surrender to a wave of grief or sorrow, cleansing us with deep heaving sobs?
One thing I do know is you can't keep this ocean back forever. Our bodily emotional system has way more power than our conscious mind and petty psychological blocks. It will prevail, if not
through sobs or waves of bliss, then through bodily symptoms, inner pains, and behavioral patterns we can't control.
Never turn your back on the ocean.
P.S. Next Sunday evening we'll gather for another free 30-minute meditation session video call. I'll show you a Full Moon Meditation and a Meditation to Balance Solar and Lunar Energies.
I'll send details next Sunday morning!