Sometimes I see metaphor in the sea’s ripples, sometimes I just see the ripples.

Ocean w ripples IMG_2887

On a recent day, once again, I was appreciating the seascape in my sand chair. I heard the water’s thunder. I watched ospreys circle in high orbits, gliding on their five fingered wings, surfing the thermals above the sea.

osprey 3 DSC_0135

In my busy mindset I took photos of the air-dance in my futile effort to capture the moment. Futile yes, I knew that. One can never capture a moment, one must live it. But I did it anyway. I did manage to catch terns flying in tandem, almost as one, eerily serendipitous with this blog post.

Terns in Tandem res 100 DSC_3643

Then I stopped. I knew I had to BE with it all. I do this fairly often. I unslung my camera, placed it in my lap and just sat and watched the sea.

Lotus sit boardwalk IMG_6825When some of us hear the word, “meditation” we think of a guru on a mountain top, legs, lotus, incense filling the air. What’s more common is people assuming that position in less fantasized places, like this boardwalk yogi.

I’ve never met one who wasn’t a real, good soul. However, sitting is just not me. But I suspect what I do has a similar result. I just do it because it works. It’s my way to find a refreshing peace.

Most people meditate only through prayer. Prayer comforts but I think it also colors. Maybe one can engage in both, the personal-religious and this universal.

I call it universal because, wherever or however one lives, it peels away all the layers of accumulated bias one is exposed to in a lifetime. I try to put it aside for a while to see what reality looks like without it. The putting-aside seems to be vital to the experience that can only be attained by not reaching out but by letting in.

Feet DSC_1150

I’ve learned that a good way to allow the experience is by paying attention to the breath. So that’s what I do: each intake a rising crest, each exhale a breaking wave. I focus on it…while I watch…while I listen. But I’m letting my busy mind rest, I’m not seeking patterns or analysis or metaphor.

Trying to describe what I experience is as futile as my camera efforts above. I might as well just be saying, “Have a nice day.” for all the illumination it carries for you.

But as with my camera effort, I’ll engage in the futile description anyway:

rolling surf DSC_3982I watch the waves curl and break into a waterfall ruffle of white. I see it tumble to a rush of intersecting ripples. I see it in great detail, each ripple folding under itself as it forms a vortex with another. I see the wings of the terns twisting black against the blue of the sky.

But now all are without labels, all without interpretation, all without analogy. I see without a filter of religion, race, politics, culture; upbringing, training or gender. I just watch it happen, watch it unfold. I stay in that moment as best I can, returning again and again when my mind strays to the busy.

ripples reflections IMG_3419

I can only say that a peace comes upon me. And the first notice is my muscles relaxing, most notably in my shoulders, my arms. The superficial busy-me seems to be dissolving. But I’m aware. I’m present. And I suspect that when I am in this presence I’ve reached a place that is the core, the home, of you and me.

It’s almost like I’m the same person as you…but just for that moment. Because when all the superficial, busy-me and busy-you is absent is when I think…we are one. It’s fair to say I’m looking at those waves, those ripples, those reflections…with our eyes, humankind’s eyes.

I’ve found a deep peace. A serenity that refreshes. And when I’m back to my busy mind, the peace carries over. I’m still more present than I was before going home.

Having said all that, I don’t think you know any more of the moment than if I did in fact just say, “Have a nice day.” That’s because the experience is simply ineffable. Words are weak. Adjectives do not add. Description fails. And that’s okay with me.

rays and ripples copy

Were I able to give full and adequate import of what I feel with words it would reduce the moment to mere, awe. And this transcends the spectacle, the excitement of awe. Awe is fodder for the busy mind. Presence is beyond the busy mind.  What I’m saying can’t be read about and thereby learned, it can only be experienced.

I know there are many thousands, maybe millions of people out there who are practiced meditators who can “sit” for many hours in deep meditation. Perhaps they attain nirvana. But I think that if more “regular” people like me and you allow at least some “going home”, it might make the world just a little bit better. As we grow in number we might just become as a keel of peace in this sea of life.

red sunset vert DSC_0297When we think, us-as-one, we might be just a little less inclined to flip the bird at our fellow man.  We might be less likely to steal our neighbors’ pensions. Or at least not sever our neighbor’s heads, or set them ablaze. That would be good.

We might be just a little more inclined to want to feed a neighbor than fight him. We might see each other less as Arab or Jew, Sunni or Shia, black or white and see each other more as…ourselves.

Maybe some of you have had these moments. Maybe more of you will allow them.

Sometimes I see metaphor in the sea’s ripples, sometimes I just see the ripples.

Be well,


visit my sister blog:https://wherethesundontshine.net

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