I tried meditating on the beach today. After a few minutes of gazing out at the ocean these words floated up into my consciousness, “An impersonal, life-creating vastness that is ever-changing.” The metaphor touched me deeply. It seemed as if time stopped, or at least was on hold. A feeling of peace came upon me, or more accurately, from within me. Then a new thought wafted, “I am alive in an impersonal universe and I can’t help but take it personally.” Then another thought, “Life is sustained by eating other life. What’s up with that?” Then one more, “Ever-changing is just a pompous way of saying $#!% happens.” Realizing I’d strayed from my meditation, I took a deep cleansing breath and once again looked out at the ocean. That simple joy and serenity I’d felt earlier returned immediately, followed by a new thought, or rather, sensation, “I urgently have to urinate.” I looked around and saw no facilities. Not even a tree to hide behind. Desperate for relief, I looked back to the ocean and heard these words calmly whispered in my mind, “Impersonal also means I will never judge you.”

The water was cold, but I managed.