top of page

The Mind and the Stormy Ocean (Spiritual Short Story)

Swamiananda, and his disciple Ranga, were strolling on the beach by the ocean. It was a cold day and the wind was blowing strongly over the ocean, raising very high waves.

After walking for some time, Swamiananda stopped, looked at his disciple, and asked: “What does the choppy ocean remind you of?”

“It reminds me of my mind and my rushing and restless thoughts.” Answered Ranga.

“Yes, the stormy ocean is like the mind, and the waves are the thoughts,” Swamiananda explained. “The mind is neutral like the water. It is neither good nor bad. The wind creates the waves, as desires and fears produce thoughts.”

“I wouldn’t want to be on a boat in the middle of the ocean, in a storm like this.” Said Ranga.

“You are there all the time within this storm.” Responded Swamiananda and continued, “Most people are on a rudderless boat in the middle of a choppy ocean, even if they do not realize it. The mind of most people is very restless. Thoughts of all kinds come and go incessantly, agitating the mind like the ocean’s waves.”

“Yes,” Ranga interrupted him, “You don’t need to tell me this, I know that. This is the reason I want to learn from you. I want to calm down the waves of my mind.”

Swamiananda looked at Ranga for a while, smiled, and said: “You don’t calm the ocean by holding the water and not letting it move. What is necessary is to stop the wind.”

“Your thoughts, desires, and fears are like the wind; you need to calm them down, and not let them rule your life. You learn to control them by controlling your attention and focus, and then the ocean of your mind would become calm.”

“And how do I do that?”

“Suppose it is po