My daughter just bought a sweet little t-shirt at Target that reads, “the sea sets me free.” That is always how I feel when I spend time on the ocean. Inspired. Free. It’s a great space and place of life for reading and writing. Here are some of my favorite quotes on water and life that have inspired me to go with the flow a little more even when I’m not on the ocean.
The following annotated excerpts are from the book Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, gifted to me by my dear friend Sue. Growing up Catholic followed by growing older with openness to possibilities of how God appears in the world for others has led me to explore spiritual teachings with a broader view and find beauty in the synchronicities. The teachings of Jesus and Buddha are kind of like a Snickers bar to me. Two great things that go even better together.
“Let us visualize the ocean with a multitude of waves. Imagine that we are a wave on the ocean, and surrounding us are many, many waves. If the wave looks deeply within herself, she will realize that her being there depends on the presence of all the other waves. Her coming up, her going down, and her being big or small depend entirely on how the other waves are. Looking into yourself, you touch the whole, you touch everything-you are conditioned by what is there around you.”
“When you are capable of touching yourself deeply, and touching others deeply, you touch the other dimension, the dimension of the ultimate reality.”
“But there is another level of relationship, and that is the relationship between the wave and the water. The wave is aware that she is made of other waves, and at the same time she realizes she is made of water too. It is very important for her to touch the water, the foundation of her being. She realizes that all the other waves are also made of water.” – Thich Nhat Hann, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers
And ain’t this so true…
“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.” -Isak Dinesen, Danish Author of Out of Africa
Michener has a way with truth too. From one of my favorite epics, “It was his opinion that a man had to wait until he was dead to know the meaning of God, unless he happened to have known the sea in his youth.” ― James A. Michener, Hawaii
But we can’t always take those life epiphany by the sea moments so seriously…
“Sponges grow in the ocean. That just ‘gets’ me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn’t happen.” -Stephen Wright, Comedian
And finally, Alan Watts, because Mr. Watts always makes for a good finale.
“Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float…the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. The attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever is might turn out to be.” – Alan Watts
Travel note: This photo with my son James, a stolen moment taken by my husband at the W Resort and Spa, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.