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Analogy of the Ocean

Consciousness is like a vast infinite ocean of peace and stillness that underlies everything in existence.

If you consider an ocean for a moment - on the surface there is almost continual activity and change. Sometimes it is calm, and other times it can be extremely turbulent. During the turbulent times droplets are lifted and formed into waves – and the waves crash back on to the surface. As a droplet on the surface, it appears there is no control.

But, underlying the surface is a vast body of water that is relatively unmoving, and unchanging. It’s still and calm beneath the surface.

For a moment, imagine being that deep ocean where nothing is moving. Imagine resting as the ocean and observing. It is easy to be aware of all that exists around you; including what is happening on the surface. From this state of rest and observation it is very peaceful. It would be almost impossible to be continually fixated with the movement of the droplets and the waves on the surface.

In life, we appear to function like droplets on the surface. We don’t know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next - change seems to be continually occurring – and sometimes it appears we are being battered by life. We’re so heavily identified with our individual self, and fixated with the idea that the people around us are separate individuals, that we seem to function like individual droplets. As a consequence of our fixation with the continual change and movement in life we are unaware of the vastness that underlies us.

Although the droplets appear to be separate, they are not – they are an integral component of the ocean. The surface is like a shallow layer, or manifestation, of the vastness beneath.

Just imagine that underlying you, and everyone and everything that exists, is a vast ocean of stillness and calm and peace. Imagine what it would be like functioning as that ocean – aware of the changes on the surface but not battered by them. Imagine how calm, and peaceful, and effective life would be.