We are both the vast ocean of consciousness and the wave on the surface. The ocean represents unlimited possibilities and unbounded spaciousness. The wave, which constantly rises and falls, represents our individuality as no two waves are identical. Tantra embraces both the ocean and the wave.
To remember the vastness of our true nature is difficult because installed within all of us at birth is a kind of “cosmic forgetfulness” – we have forgotten where we came from. We generally walk around like oceanless waves. But in reality, the ocean has never left the wave and in fact, the wave is composed entirely of the ocean.
What keeps a wave a wave? According to Tantra, it’s called “mala” – dust on the surface of consciousness. The malas are like tight rings that bind us to our limited identity. The most common mala is lack, which takes on many forms – not enoughness, unworthiness, sadness, depression, lack of motivation, and doubt. Being perfectionistic, I’ve had to learn how to embrace my feeling of lack. Especially when I first began to teach, I was extremely self-critical. I remember a time when I felt particularly self-critical. Even when the students told me how wonderful their experience was and that they had breakthroughs and insights, I couldn’t receive their compliments. However, over the years, I’ve been able to release my unreachable expectations and self-criticisms and appreciate myself a little more. In a humble way, I can share in the joy of my students’ insights and receive them fully in their experience.
This oceanic consciousness is already inside of you and is closer to you than your own breath. In addition, there’s a way to access the ocean again and again in such a way that it becomes stabilized within your waveness. What’s the secret? Repeated immersion into the interior space of the heart through practice. The term, Hridaya Visharanti, is the repose of the heart where our identity as ocean is conceived and experienced. But that identity is guarded. It’s like a sacred treasure of joy locked deep within. What unlocks the door to the heart is repeated spiritual practice.
May you recommit to your practices and dissolve the veils that conceal the treasures of your heart. May you recognize you are part of a bigger energy, that your wave is in the ocean and that the vastness of the ocean is in you as you.