The Buddhist journey helps us find our way back home—to the truth of who we are.
We become more familiar with a state of being that is deeper, calmer and less interested in getting caught up in everyday dramas.
We learn to relate to our thoughts and feelings from a different vantage point. Over time, we see the results of our mindfulness practice in our daily life.
We begin to trust ourselves and gain confidence in who we are and our ability to set in motion a happier life for ourselves and the people around us.
This is why meditation practice is so powerful. We discover and experience ourselves changing from within. When realization comes from this kind of internal work, it is genuine, stable and no one can take it away from us.
The metaphor used to describe the true essence of who we are is a blue sky on a clear day.
It is vast, open and lit up by the sun’s compassionate light. Clouds come and go, but the sun is still shining. It is the same with the ocean and its waves. The waves can be wild and turbulent, but deep down at the ocean floor, it is still and quiet.
Our thoughts and emotions are just like the clouds and waves.
They come and go and create different experiences we go through on any given day.
The problem is that we are so used to identifying with the thoughts and feelings, that we forget that they are just clouds and waves. They rise and fall, come and go. They are not who we are.
This sounds simple, it is simple, but that is what is profound.
As we practice and study the dharma, the emphasis is not on trying to change our outer situation.
Rather we are learning how to work with our mind, our inner situation. Our mind is what experiences each moment of our life, and everything we think and feel.
Through meditation practice we learn about how our mind works and this is what helps us manage situations more skillfully—experience more happiness and peace. We learn how to calm our mind down and become less reactive. We begin to see through the clouds and the waves. We develop our mind’s inherent qualities of clarity, wisdom, warmth and space.
This relaxed and open state becomes so familiar to we that we see how it fundamentally doesn’t change with the weather.
Thus, the most important point of the Buddhist spiritual journey is about discovering the truth of who we are, by realizing our mind’s true nature, as wisdom and compassion.
Author: Tina Fossella, MFT
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock