The Buddhist journey helps you find your way back home to the truth of who you are. You become more familiar with a state of being that is deeper, calmer, and less interested in getting caught up in the every day dramas. You learn to relate to your thoughts and feelings from a different vantage point. Over time, you see the results of your mindfulness practice in your daily life. You begin to trust yourself and gain confidence in who you are and your ability to set in motion a happier life for yourself and the people around you. This is why the practice is so powerful. You discover and experience yourself changing from within. When realization comes from this kind of internal work, it is genuine, stable, and no one can take it away from you.
The metaphor used to describe the true essence of who you are is a blue sky on a clear day. It is vast, open, and lit up by the sun’s compassionate light. Clouds come and go, but the sun is still shining. It is the same with the ocean and its waves. The waves can be wild and turbulent, but deep down at the ocean floor, it is still and quiet. Your thoughts and emotions are just like the clouds and waves. They come and go and create different experiences that you go through on any given day. The problem is that you are so used to identifying with the thoughts and feelings, that you forget that they are just clouds and waves. They rise and fall, come and go. They are not who you are. This sounds so simple, it is so simple, but that is what is so profound.
As you practice and study the dharma, the emphasis is not in trying to change your outer situation. Rather you are learning how to work with your mind, your inner situation. Your mind is what experiences each moment of your life, everything you think and feel. Through meditation practice you learn about how your mind works and this is what helps you manage situations more skillfully and experience more happiness and peace. You learn how to calm your mind down and become less reactive. You begin to see through the clouds and the waves. You develop your mind’s inherent qualities of clarity, wisdom, warmth and space. This relaxed and open state becomes so familiar to you that you see how fundamentally it doesn’t change with the weather. Thus, the most important point of the Buddhist spiritual journey is about discovering the truth of you you are by realizing your mind’s true nature as wisdom and compassion.