Most of us only experience the very upper layer of the vastness that the ocean is. This layer is the one that is most susceptible to atmospheric changes. The ocean surface may be relatively undisturbed on a calm day, yet when huge waves are whipped up by a storm it becomes a powerful force to reckon with. But as you travel beneath the surface the influences of the changing weather patterns decrease and greater stability can be experienced. At sufficient depths one remains unmoved by the ongoing turbulence on the surface.
This analogy can be used to describe the dynamics of the mind. The mental forms of perceptions, feelings, emotions, and thoughts that come and go can be compared to the ocean waves that spontaneously form at the surface, persist for a while, and then dissipate back to that vast reservoir from which they arose,
Meditation is often mistakenly considered as a means of “escaping” the turbulence of mental forms by somehow suppressing or cutting ourselves off from the existence of these “waves” that have a tendency to toss us about and continually knock us off balance
But meditation is about developing a different relation with the mental forms that continuously arise in our mind – “our” perceptions, feelings, emotions, and thoughts. Rather than suppressing them, or denying them, its about learning to not cling to them and to not infuse them with a sense of a permanent independent identity that is against their very nature. In the process of letting go and loosening our tendency to grasp at and identify with the “surface” activity of “things,” we begin to develop a stronger awareness of the formless depth which is the basis for such activity. We begin to develop a better appreciation for the relation between the personal and the universal – between the form and formless.
Meditation involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. That is, being open to the way things are in each moment without trying to manipulate or change the experience—without judging it, clinging to it, or pushing it away. It is to realize that thoughts, emotions and feelings are just waves on the surface of the ocean, . By doing this become aware and alive to life as it unfolds in the present through thoughts, feelings and perceptions..