Okay, this one’s simple, but it can be tricky to grasp at first. Not difficult—tricky. It would be unreasonable to call tying your shoes difficult but—when you’re first learning—it is tricky. Okay. Ready?
Waves don’t push beach balls towards the shore because the ball is sitting on the water, not on a wave. The weight of the water versus the lightness of the beach ball causes the beach ball to float on the substance that is water. That is how they interact. In this metaphor, the reality of you the ball, and the external reality of the water, are where the two realities come to exist by their very meeting. But just like with the beach, don’t mistake the water for the wave.
The water is neutral. It’s the energy in the wave that acts up0n the water. The energy and frequency will dictate the wave, not the water. Meaning you are better to invest your life in paying attention to the frequency, magnitude and speed of the wave than you are to the temperature or look of the water. To turn the metaphor around, you’re better to invest your life paying attention to the energy behind your thoughts, than you to pay attention to external events. The events, like the water, will be dictated by the energy that’s put into that reality by your thoughts.
You know this energy as your feelings or emotions. These are feelings you know well, and yet you’ve spent almost no time truly considering their origins. Someone can insult you, but if you don’t respect them, then the insult means nothing. Another person can insult you, but if you do respect them, then you will choose to believe that idea by thinking it about yourself, and that act will lead you to suffer. Whatever thought you have generates a kind of energy that creates the wave that either raises or lowers your ball.
Your sense of being comes from your thinking about the world. You can be in intake mode where you are aware, or output mode where you are creating an ego by having a thought-conversation with yourself. If you think angry or busy or worried ego-thoughts, then you will feel angry, tired and afraid. But if you’re in intake mode, you’ll feel appreciation in some form.
Don’t get caught up in battling with the water. Focus on the wave. Feel its energy. And steer yourself accordingly. If one part of the wave is unpleasant, then shift the weight of your thinking onto something more positive and/or enriching. Because there are no perfect waves. There are just waves that get surfed almost perfectly.
Stop treating your egocentric narrative like it’s anyone else’s reality. Those thought-waves are yours and yours alone. Only you feel them. You find reality when you’re not-thinking. When you are open and aware. Then you’re available to feel the universe. You can ride the energy of an experience much like you can a wave. You just have to remember to put more of your weight on catching the flow of the most enriching experiences available. Feel the energy beneath you. You are a part of it. Pay attention. 😉
Following a childhood accident should have left him dead, Scott McPherson spent his life meditating on thought, consciousness, reality and the self. Seeing the emotional damage done by ego-based overthinking he began dedicating a part of his life to guiding students toward more peaceful and rewarding lives. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, Canada.