Contemplations · Self Inquiry

A Meditation on Reality: The Ocean as a metaphor of awareness

A Meditation

Sitting straight, breathing deeply, and relaxing….. let your mind be still and focus on your breath, and the “felt sense” of these experiential questions…. feeling into each one, finding a sense of what is there, before moving to the next question. Let them arise of themselves to a clear picture….. not as concepts but as a felt sense….

Do your best to have no emotional reaction to how you feel in this meditation, or what you find… but rather simply view it as “a watcher”….. carefully taking note of what is taking place…..

Here we go!…………….


A Vast Ocean

  • Consider this:      Picture your consciousness or awareness like a vast ocean.

Where is your awareness located in that vastness? (If you were the ocean…. a conscious entity, where would your consciousness be located???)

Does that awareness feel like a field?…….. or a point?………….

What does the sense of your awareness being vast and expansive feel like?

Do you feel like you could trust this sense of expansiveness?

A Droplet of Water

  • Consider this:      Picture your consciousness or awareness as one droplet of water in that vast ocean….

As you are aware of yourself individually…. do you see yourself as a separate water droplet?

Where would your “water droplet center” be then? Is it one location? A point?

(And is it difficult to imagine being a droplet of water immersed in a vast ocean of water?)

What is different about the sense of your awareness: being a single separate droplet of water, and being a vast ocean of awareness?

(Would other folks awareness near you also be single separate droplets of water…. ? What differences would their awareness have from your own awareness?)

Do you feel like you can trust these differing sensations?

What is this awareness I call “me”?

  • Consider this:       What IS your awareness then? What is this awareness I call “me”? Sitting here reading this blog? I know I am here…. but who is this “I” or “me”?

Why is this “me” so hard to find when I go looking for it?

On the one hand, we can sense this awareness to be vast and expansive, and on another hand, we can sense our awareness to be limited to one point…..

Does this make you begin to feel confused?

Comfortable or Uncomfortable?

  • Does thinking about this make you comfortable or uncomfortable?
  • Does this thinking seem to threaten your sense of yourself, and who you are?


The head monk says”if you say yes, I will strike you 30 times, if you say no, I will strike you 30 times”

Consider this:      What if we are both the droplet of water, with its localized awareness, and at the same time, a part of that vast oceanic awareness?

If I say, you are an individual human, but you are also a part of the human race, that computes, right?

On the other hand, we see that we have individual awareness…. but we are a bit uncomfortable considering that we are a part of this oceanic awareness…. as an integral part…. as part of our “birthright”…..

Why would we be uncomfortable with this, if it were a reality?

Is it strange that we can sense ourselves as being such? Especially if it were not true?

A bit of Quantum Physics might help……

Science seems to come through for us, where we might least expect it….

Quantum physics speaks often about this type of strange result… where testing something….  for example photons, or “light particles” shows multiple answers. When the photon is tested to see if it acts like a particle (or localized point) it shows that it has the nature of a particle, but when it is tested as a wave, it also shows that it has the nature of a wave….. so in fact, the possibility of “things” and their “nature” is not as simple as our 5 senses try to tell us. Is our awareness then saying something similar?

Isn’t it interesting that quantum physics and the sense of human awareness have similar traits?


Something to meditate on:

What if we are in fact the vast ocean of awareness, but are also a localized awareness, by way of these 5 senses, our brain, or “data collection unit”…… and our memories?

What if the localized “me” is simply the sensation of a “small mind center” created by our 5 senses, floating in a vast ocean of awareness?




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