If you’ve ever visited the shore of any ocean, you likely took away several things from the experience.
The first might have been a sense of just how vast the ocean truly is. Standing at the water’s edge, the horizon is about three miles away. You might have gotten a sense of a thousand or more expanses of water, each as large as what you could see, stretching into the unknown distance, and shivered when you realized how small you were compared to the ocean’s majesty.
Perhaps you swam out until you were far beyond the depth at which you could stand. If you then looked out upon the ocean, knowing that it continued to deepen to a mile, two miles, or even more, another shiver and likely a quick retreat to the shore.
And if you’ve ever watched enormous, storm-driven waves tower, break, and thunder ashore, you were no doubt awed by the oceans’s sheer power.
But you can’t experience all that standing at a distance. You have to get up close and personal. You have to immerse yourself in it.
Compared to the ocean, our physical bodies are laughably small and weak. But that’s not the correct comparison.
The poet Walt Whitman wrote, “I am vast. I contain multitudes.” These two simple sentences are a profound realization, one that stands the usual conception of human life on its head.
There’s far, far more to you than you may realize. You are indeed vast, you are deep, you are powerful, and you do contain multitudes. There’s an ocean within you but, as with the physical ocean, you’ll have to get up close and personal with it before you can begin to appreciate it.
The Big Lie of human existence is that each of us is locked within our skin, separate from everyone and everything else, and that’s all there is to us. Our apparent physical “reality” is constantly reinforcing that illusion, but you don’t have to continue to buy into it. Instead, get up close and personal with your Self–that part of your spiritual being which proceeds from, shares the nature of, and partakes in the power of the Creator.
And, paradoxically, you get closer to your Self by taking a step back from the Big Lie. The best way to do this is through some form of meditative practice, one that quiets the Ego mind–your everyday self–and opens you to experiencing the Presence, wisdom, and calmness of the ocean within. I use the term “experiencing” as the manner in which your Self will make itself known to you is a very individual thing. You may have images or visions, you may hear words or sounds, you may experience bodily sensations such as a growing sense of warmth in one or more specific locations, or you may “disappear” into a silent blackness from which you emerge 5 minutes or an hour later with no recollection of anything during that time. That last has happened to me more than once, and I assure you that I did not fall asleep for 45 minutes while kneeling!
Regardless of what signs or knowledge you receive through your practice of meditation, you’ll emerge calmer, more centered, and convinced that there’s more to you than your body and your Ego mind with its penchant for drama. There is a vast ocean within you. It’s both calm and quiet in the depths, and within that calm and quiet you’ll discover your power.