The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Ocean's Gift

Editrixed and I resumed our nightly online chats when I returned from Krabi last night. She demanded to hear everything so she could live vicariously through me, though I didn't understand why since she already leads an amazing life. But I never need much encouragement to talk so I talk I did. At the end of my stories, she asked me if I had any revelations while on holiday. I didn't answer her then because although I had entertained many thoughts while watching the ocean, I couldn't think of any that could be classified as a revelation.

It was only during a shower this evening - because all great ideas emerge from the shower head - that it hit me. I become a stronger person each time I live by the ocean.

I have a surer footing, a clearer mind and a restful spirit. I am glued together better. I feel grounded. More certain of myself. Less inclined to be shaken by the nonsense of the world. I am gentler too. Softer. Kinder. The ocean makes me a better person somehow.

This discovery took me by surprise. But it shouldn't, really. Looking back, I can see all those little moments during which the shift happened.

In Cherating, it was lying on an empty stretch of beach beside The Thinker. It was looking at the stars at night. It was walking hand-in-hand in the ocean as a storm approached. It was eating chocolate in silence on the verandah of our little beach hut and looking out to sea.

In Krabi, it was kayaking alone at dawn on a sparkling sheet of crinkled glass. It was standing at the water's edge in the dead of night with the wind in my hair and salt on my skin. It was enjoying a breakfast of French toast and excellent coffee while watching the waves roll in.

The ocean reminds me of how small I am in the greater scheme of things. It demands that I offer a prayer of thanks and gratitude for the opportunity to witness its magnificence. And then it nudges me to declare my hopes and dreams, and allow the wind to snatch them out of my mouth and fling them to the horizon. It renews my trust and faith and fills me with just that little bit of inner strength.

I have always loved the ocean. And now I love it even more because I finally understand what it does to and for me.


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