Devi and I are taking a short break in Pacific Grove, California, overlooking Monterey Bay with its rugged and dramatic coastline. In addition to the beauty of the ocean, there is an amazing variety of sea life: flocks of cormorants and seagulls, seals sunning themselves, and sea otters somehow endlessly entertaining doing nothing more than floating on their backs. Further out there are whales.
There is a timeless quality to the sea. The sea life and tides, the waves and rocks, the vistas and sunsets have changed little for millions of years. And yet, every day, every hour is different and fresh. This is one of the primal qualities of the Divine: unchanging but ever-new.
The elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether—seem more revealed here. According to her mood, the sea either caresses or crushes the solid rocks. The sun fires the water, and everything is touched and tossed by the wind. At sunset even the invisible ether seems tangible. The sea lives inside of us—our blood a miniature ocean nourishing every cell—and the five elements are in our very marrow, expressed in the chakras. This resonance of outer and inner worlds draws people to the sea. Our morning walks or runs are joined by dozens of others, young and old.
Today, we visited the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Along with hundreds of varieties of fish, they have a large display of jellyfish. These seem to be creatures from an alien planet, floating and pulsing in otherworldly rhythms. Their glowing patterns, produced by internal luminescence, seem more suited to a science fiction spaceship than to a living creature. How infinitely creative is Divine Mother!
Paramhansa Yogananda loved the sea. In her book, The Flawless Mirror, Kamala Silva reminisces about how Master would vacation at their home near Santa Barbara and swim twice a day in the surf. He would stroll or meditate so often on the bluffs at Encinitas Hermitage that the surfers named it “Swami’s Beach.” He suggested that we, too, meditate on the horizon line where the sky meets the sea, because it helps us attune to the superconscious state, which lies between the conscious and subconscious minds.
Divine Mother shows Her love for us by filling our world with beauty and tiny miracles, but too often we walk through the day oblivious to its loveliness, our heads filled with projects and problems. It is good, once in a while, to visit the sea. It reawakens our wonder and our gratitude.