The mind is like the ocean

On my way to teach a sold out Neck and Shoulder workshop at the wonderful Reform Pilates in Blackrock, a seaside community just outside Dublin, I was listening to Dan Siegel’s The Mindful Therapist. It’s a wonderful book for therapists, encouraging mindfulness practice, self-care and offering an insight into his concept of Mindsight and Interpersonal Neurobiology. He is telling a wonderful allegory about the ocean and the mind, which was just so fitting when I got off the dart, right next to the choppy sea.

The mind is like the ocean. And deep in this ocean, beneath the surface, it’s calm and clear. And no matter what the surface conditions are, whether it’s flat or choppy or even a full gale storm, deep in the ocean it’s tranquil and serene. From the depth of the ocean you can look toward the surface and just notice the activity there, as in the mind, where from the depth of the mind you can look upward toward the waves, the brainwaves at the surface of your mind, where all that activity of mind, thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories exist. You have the incredible opportunity to just observe those activities at the surface of your mind.


Wonderful, isn’t it? I think this is a really helpful image to help us find our true, connected neutral state of calm and rest we all have tucked away somewhere. Let’s resurface our inner tranquil and serene depth when things get choppy!

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