Are you the fish bowl or the water?

Let’s do a little visualizing for a moment.

Imagine the inside of a fish bowl with fish constantly floating around in the water amongst coral and other sea life swaying back and forth.

Your mind is just like the inside of this fish bowl, with thoughts constantly circling around in your head. If you don’t practice mindfulness and self awareness, you are fully identified with your thoughts and live within the limited boundary of your own mind’s fish bowl.

Now imagine taking a step back and actually looking at the fish bowl, not just what’s in it but the design and shape of the fish bowl, where it’s located and what it’s sitting on.

When you develop and strengthen your awareness, you’re able to expand your consciousness beyond simply identifying with your thoughts and emotions. In this state you can “see the fish bowl” and become aware of your thoughts as they arise, watch them float around in your mind as well as feel the emotions that are tied with them without necessarily being identified as them. 

Now visualize the fish bowl sitting at the bottom of the ocean with salt water completely surrounding it for endless miles in every direction. The salt water outside of the fish bowl moves in unison, flowing as nature decides.

When you take mindfulness a step further, you come to realize that beyond recognition of thought and emotion as they arise, your awareness of them is just another impression happening in the realm of consciousness. The same goes for the sensation that our thoughts are coming from behind our eyes or somewhere inside of our head. 

It’s all just happening in this precondition of consciousness, and when you are able to discover this for yourself you can transcend the shackles of living in or as the fish bowl and flow peacefully through life like water. 

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water” – Bruce Lee