Changing Our Relationship to Our Thoughts and Ourselves


MARK 4:36-40
And when they had sent away the multitude, they took with him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on the pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?

After I was ordained, I agreed to go with my partner on a trip to the Oregon coast. She absolutely loves the coast. Myself, I’m not always the biggest fan. It seems like it is always ridiculously windy and cold, and the water is even colder, no matter what time of year it is. I guess I got spoiled with the Gulf Stream on the east coast where the water actually gets warm in the summer.

Sure enough, we got there and it was incredibly windy and I was under-dressed as I tend to be every time I go there. We made our way to the beach, and while she wandered off, I made my way up the beach in search of a place where the wind was tolerable for me. I eventually made my way to a flat rock that was able to act as a perfect seat for me, and sat.

I looked down at the sand and watched it sparkle and dance as the wind carried it across the beach. I saw the clouds rushing across the sky and watched the waves come in. I found serenity at that point. It was still chilly, and the wind was still blowing pretty hard, but it no longer bothered me as I had changed my relationship to it.

In the gospel, the winds that stir the waves represent our thoughts. When our thoughts are wild and out of control, they inevitably stir up our emotions, which can sometimes get us into trouble.  It seems like some folks in various meditation disciplines and spiritual circles somewhat demonize thoughts and mental activity as a nuisance; as something we would be better off without. But we do have thoughts, and it is a beautiful and wonderful thing that we are able to be consciously aware, self-reflective beings capable of manifesting thoughts, which manifest into action, which can manifest into wonderful things on this Earth. It is not the thoughts or the process of thinking that causes us problems, but rather our relationship to them and to ourselves that gives us issues.

When we change our relationship to our thoughts and our being, we can begin to see things as they truly are and see the beauty in things that we may have not been able to see before. As I sat there and watched the scenery on the beach, I thought of how even the coldest winds and the darkest clouds have beauty. How often have we chosen to ignore or even demonize those cold winds and dark clouds that reside within us? How often have we run away from them instead of fearlessly trying to understand them?

And as I sat, and goose-bumps began to form, the Sun came through the clouds, its warmth radiating though my body, giving me relief from the chill. Just as Jesus calmed the tempest, the Sunlight/Son-Light within us can calm and bring peace to any inner storms we may have. We may have to sit through the winds and the cold, but if we hold steadfast and keep a good relationship with Self, the Light will always come and provide us with comfort and relief. Because no matter how heavy the clouds are, or how dark the sky is, the Sun/Son is ALWAYS there.