A Day at the Beach
I was traveling on vacation a while back and ended up at the beach. My wife was sitting on the beach chair with her book, and I was pacing up and down looking for something to do, as I am usually not some one who is accustomed to sitting still. My idea of a vacation had always been “see as much as you can , in the shortest amount of time available” I was well known for tightly packed energetic vacations, accomplishing more sights seen in less than 3 to 5 days than most would explore in 2 weeks. We had already done everything on my list of sights to investigate for this trip, we had checked out and were awaiting transport to the airport. We were not due for another hour to take the taxi, so we decided to goto the beach ( my wife’s bright idea!) and “patiently”wait.
While pacing, she kindly told me to go and take a walk or pace somewhere else, good advice, but probably meant at getting me to leave her alone for a bit, and not planning another adventure of tourism in an hour !! So I did just that, I started pacing at the edge of the beach. As I walked up one end and back down the other, I slowly noted that my attention veered off towards the sea. My eye caught the waves hitting the rocks, the tide gently coming in, the trails of my foot prints in the sand that were washed away with each tide. I stopped, and looked up out to sea. I was awestruck, and my racing thoughts came to a screeching halt.
I was mesmerized by all that I was witnessing. It was like nature was unfolding as I stood there before my very eyes. I examined the rocks and pebbles as they were pounded wave after wave. They were unaffected. I got to thinking, perhaps I should be a like a rock strong and solid and let the tides of life, crashing over me never affected by the negative words or actions of others. What do I care of someone else’s negative thoughts and opinions? Be immovable like these stones, yet adapt to the water, fully submerged in life. Be like a harbor of safety, protecting the shore, ergo protecting family, friends, and self.
I noted the waves of the sea, and the ripples they caused, like ripples of energy traveling the universe, every one of our actions positive or negative has a energy ripple that affects something, someone, somewhere, no matter how small. Our thoughts can be far reaching, just like the attractive and repulsive forces in all of matter, these too can have a significant impact. I realized the massive expansion of the sea as it eventually became the ocean. I cannot control this ocean, it is too big, too powerful, so instead respect it, accept it, but don’t fear it, as like a little boat in the ocean, we too are little lifeforms in this infinitely expanded universe. It like the ocean is too big, too powerful but should not be feared, but respected and accepted. There is only One Supreme Consciousness that can control the ocean and the universe. Without the permission of this One Consiousness, not even a leaf can move, nor a ripple form, nor an atom pulse, let alone life to exist and a universe to function. We cannot stop time or a tide but we can use both efficiently, productively and positively to navigate.
My attention turned to the sand of the beach at my feet. Nothing lasts forever, the tide of the ocean and time takes everything away. If by chance it returns, it was meant for you, an opportunity, a repeat moment to allow a better outcome, but such moments are rare. Much like the sea shells that disappear with each tide deeper into the sea, perchance the same shell returns to you, but that event is another time. I dipped my foot into the water, and removed it, and then dipped into it again. I repeated the process several times. One might say that it was the same water I was placing my foot into each time. But I disagree. Every time I dipped my foot in, the water passed and continued to flow. It was not the same water. So true it is in life. We carry out the same negative behaviors repeatedly, sometimes foolishly, presuming no change but how can it be, as every time we do it, the tide of time and space have changed, and a different adverse outcome occurs. Such is the nature of addictions.
Eventually all the sand, rocks, sea shells erode with time and dissolve back into the ocean, so too in the universe. We are all finite beings, with finite bodies that will fail, we all fall sick, and die and return unto the universe from the very elements for which we were created. The planet, this solar system, this galaxy and everything in the universe will follow the same law of nature, and succumb to the same fate. Is this a pessimistic view point? I submit, it is not. It is the truth. Now that it is known , and the end is apparent, there is no fear. So you can truly be yourself, with the knowledge that you have nothing to lose, and be free to do whatever your heart wishes to do.
Under the surface of the water, the ocean holds the entire aquatic kingdom, ever in balance, and so under the surface of ourselves we harbor the entire power of the universe. Our behavior is like the surface of the seas, if rough then we are tense and stressed, when calm then we are at peace and relaxed.
The ocean is vastly deep. The surface can be affected by rough weather, but the deeper you go the calmer things are and sea life is safe at the bottom. So too in our consciousness. The mind can be tortured, agitated and confused. But deeper into our oceanic consciousness we go the calmer we find ourselves, eventually finding our true nature, true self, true spirit.
Cast,your fears into the ocean, let it sweep your worries, troubles and anxieties away, and with each tide let new hope, goals and joys fill your heart. The ocean is big enough and powerful enough to attend to your cares. Similarly the universe and the One Supreme consciousness is big enough, mighty enough to do the same. Surrender your dreams, and watch them unfold.
Just as each footprint made in the sandy beach is washed away by the tides leaving a clean smooth surface, so too does each day’s ills and past troubles are washed and swept away, leaving a clean slate, if you forgive, forget and are fearless. Keep your beach clean.
It is sad that I had to learn so much by observation on my last day and hour of the vacation. Had I been more patient and being observant I would and could have spent the entire vacation so much more at peace. Isn’t this true of life ? We dart around thinking we are making a life but are we even living. why do we have more wisdom towards the end of our lives when we could have spent every waking moment for more years at peace rather than wait for the eleventh hour.
No matter. A moments regret of the past is a moment stolen from the future, and since we cannot change the past, and the future is not here yet, I plan to enjoy the present moment carefree and worry free. Are you enjoying your day at the beach?
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