Riding the Waves of the Mind

Dear Integral Meditators,

What does it really mean to be in control of your mind and emotions? The article below explores the image of our emotions as waves, and offers mindful perspective on how we can use this image to relax into and enjoy both the highs and the lows of our inner life. Enjoy!

Last call for this Saturday’s Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing  Workshop, if you are curious about what  mindful self-healing entails, then do have a read of my article Three Levels of Mindful Healing.

In the spirit of waves,


Riding the Waves of the Mind

Our emotions come from many different sources, sometimes it seems like we are in control of our emotions and feelings; they behave predictably and respond to our efforts to stay in control, but at other times they seem to be completely unpredictable and fly in the face of our efforts at control.

Often our attempt to control our mind and emotions involves trying to hold onto pleasant emotions, thoughts and feelings, and running away from or blocking negative/feelings/thoughts. One slightly more skillful way of learning to navigate the changeability of our mind and feelings is to simply learn to relax into whatever thoughts or feelings that we have, riding them like waves on an ocean. From the point of view of this image and method, our ‘negative’ thoughts/feelings and experiences are like the low troughs of the waves on the ocean. Out ‘positive’ thoughts/feelings/experiences are like the crests or high points of the waves.

We are like a rider on a small boat or surfboard bobbing up and down on the waves of our mind; sometimes we find ourself riding a crest, other times we find ourselves down in a trough. The main thing is to pay attention to the movement, keep balanced and learn to relax into the motion as we go up and down; if you are in a trough, just keep relaxed and balanced and after a while you will find yourself rising up again as the waves move. If you are on the crest of a ‘happy’ wave, ride that and enjoy it, relax into it, keeping balanced so that when it changes again and you start going down, you can do so smoothly and easily.

Our emotions, like waves are elemental and wild in their power. In the same way that a skilled sailor can harness the power of the sea by relaxing and working with it, so we can learn to harness the power of our mind and emotions and by relaxing and working with the energy we find there each day.

Mindful Exercise:
You are on a small boat in the open ocean, rising and falling with the waves. It doesn’t matter whether you are on the crest of the wave (emotional high)  or in a trough (emotional low), just keep relaxed, balanced and work with the energy of the waves rather than against it.

Related article: Breaking like a wave
Meditating on the inner weather of our mind

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Every Wednesday, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy


Saturday 12th September, 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration

Saturday 12th September, 2.30-5.30pm Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life


Integral Meditation Asia


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