Updated: Jun 16
I recently had the opportunity to go to Maui and explore an island I never thought I would get to see! It was beautiful in a way that the PNW is not but also lacked our inherit evergreen and damp grey mystery. What I experienced there included a mind blowing view on top of Haleakala volcano at sunset that really helped put into perspective how small we are in comparison to this gigantic earth and more gigantic universe. Looking down upon the clouds from way up at 10.000 feet was mystical but divine in it’s realness. We are all indeed a part of this mysterious and ever changing earth. Thus we are also mysterious and ever changing.
What effected me most, as always, was the ocean. Being able to swim in the ocean is always a treat for anyone who lives on the Oregon or Washington coast and loves to swim and I certainly reveled in our Pacific Ocean’s warmth while in Hawaii. Something happens when I experience the ocean in this way that is hard for me to describe but it is something like a true state of meditative inquiry that I have been working on for about 30 years since I first lived in a different ocean town Wilmington, NC way back at age 25 when I did not even now anything of the practice of meditation. Maybe because I have practiced this particular method of inquiry into nature for so many decades I am able to reach a state of peaceful equanimity while purposefully connecting with the ocean. Sometimes simple practice makes peace.
For the first time while sitting on the beach in Maui I attempted to write the thoughts I have when meditating on the ocean and I thought to share it with you. One day hopefully I will lead retreats at the beach in order to help others in their healing and this ocean practice will certainly be at the center. I invite you to try it now using your imagination of the ocean or if you are near, go sit and experience all the senses activated by the mighty sea or any other body of water that moves you.
Utilize the awareness of sitting with the ocean surrounding you to let go of any detracting feelings or thoughts and be centered in the now.
The ocean rises and falls like each breath in the body. Each wave is a breath of the ocean. Each wave releases itself upon the earth. Notice the rhythm of the waves and of your own breath. With each breath release any tension held in the body.
With each breath begin to release your thoughts into the earth that so gracefully holds this ocean. With your feet grounded notice the sensation of the earth upon your feet. The earth supports both you and the ocean.
Release the thoughts that distract you from the present centered awareness of just breathing along with the ocean. Release the thoughts into the earth and allow the ocean to wash them away with every wave.
Allow each breath to bring forth a sense of spacious awareness. Notice a sense of calm, of acceptance of this body, of this moment. Every wave breaks - giving forth new energy - constant releasing and accepting. As the beach is washed anew with each ocean wave, you are renewed with each breath.
The waves do not stop nor does the breath. Allow the breath to move through the body like a wave. A wave that crescendos into the enormous ocean. The enormity mirrors that spacious awareness available within your mind.
Notice the pause between the waves and how there is also a pause between each breath even when they seamlessly flow into one another like in the deep ocean. The pause is an opportunity to let go. Let go and allow yourself to be a part of this vast and powerful ocean.
You are part of the infinite awareness of the ocean and the earth. Be present with each breath, with each moment, with each wave. Send any thoughts out into the sea with the waves.
Allow the breath to match the ocean waves and become the focus of your awareness, Just this moment - just this breath - just this wave- just this ocean. The now. Just now. And then it is gone. Like the wave. Stay in the present - no past, no future, just now. This moment that is already gone - like the tiny molecules of sand washed away in every drop of the ocean.