Posted by: Zane Maser | June 8, 2012


If you were in a little boat on the river, and another little boat
came along with no one in it and bumped into you, you would
not become angry. You would realize that an accident
had occurred and you would do something about adjusting it.
That would be the end of it. But, suppose you thought that
there was a man in the boat. Then you might become angry
and blame the man because he had bumped into you, nearly
hurting you and wasting your time, but then when you looked
a second time you discovered that there was only an empty boat.
How could you vent your anger on an empty boat?
 ~~A story from an ancient scripture

Almost anything in life can be an empty boat, given the right perspective. Bumps tend to come on a daily basis, but if I happen to bump into something or someone, or something or someone bumps me, I can allow it to be an irritation that disturbs my peace—or I can allow it to gently drift by. An empty boat floating down the river… The emotional waters can be full of waves, small ones that thrash our boat or giant ones that wash over the top of us. On the other hand, those waters can be completely quiet and serenely restful. We get to choose every moment of the eternal present.

This morning I had a passing episode of great agitation. My husband asked me to do something I felt he could have done as easily himself!! I could feel my boat start to rock. I reacted without thought. Feeling huffy and “put upon,” out the door I went to cut those peonies bent over from the night’s rain. My silly boat getting bent out of shape over an inconsequential request… While I was escorting all the wee ants off the peonies, three doves flew right over my head from out of nowhere. As spiritual emissaries sent to remind me of my hubby’s empty boat request, I started to laugh. How very silly. The dove family—a significant spiritual messenger for me personally—pressed my re-set button, releasing the disturbance and putting me back into empty boat perspective.

This may seem like a trivial example, but how many times a day do any of us have just such insignificant occurrences, minor situations, or trifling interactions when we react as though the other boat carries a passenger? How many times a day does your boat typically rock over small and large annoyances or grievances? Does your boat rock and roll and then you become aware of yet another disturbance to your peace of mind?

Resistance, agitation, and anger, to name a few, take a hard toll on our physical body. The liver—the central organ of detoxification—has to overwork in its valiant attempt to rid the body of all the apparent bumps-to-our-boat moments. This essential organ gets to work naturally, effortlessly when all the daily snapshots are simply empty boats. Oh, the boat IS empty…

Empty boat consciousness is a state of “divine indifference.”

There is a little phrase that is full of wisdom: It’s okay. Think of something now that is a current irritant to you. Get it into clear focus and feel into how it feels. Then, take a few moments and repeat, “It’s okay” in a gentle, tender, loving way, either out load or inwardly. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay…. Feel the great peace envelope you, like you are resting in a fluffy cloud. Everything relaxes and releases, because it is ALL okay. When something arises in the moment and you feel your boat start to churn and sway, switch your attention immediately to “It’s okay. The boat is empty.”

This works fabulously as a meditative practice as well. Astrologer Isabel Hickey’s version was to use these words, changing the emphasis to the next word as you repeat the thought: “IT is all right. It IS all right. It is ALL right. It is all RIGHT.” Again, feel into the peace.

She claimed if a person meditated with this phrase often enough, allowing it to seep deeper and deeper into consciousness, it could induce enlightenment! So powerful are these words and the Truth they convey! The true effect of these words can only be apprehended inwardly through direct, personal experience and realization. The Light of understanding can never occur outwardly or last on the level of the intellect or mind.

My only and greatest wish for you is to have a peaceful Empty Boat Day and then again tomorrow and the day after and all days forward! Empty Boat Days all day long! See you on the river of joyful life—each experiencing Empty Boat consciousness.

Related Posts:

• Approach and Avoidance

• Bittersweet

• Free Association: Peace

• Peace

• Resilience

• Waves of Goodness

• “One Body”

• Central Pillars of Dr. Edward Bach’s Life


1. This story appears in Joel Goldsmith’s “Conscious Union with God,” Martino Publishing, 2011, page 138.

Text © by Zane Maser, 2012. Photos from WikiCommons. All rights reserved worldwide.

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Protection

My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.


  1. Zane’s thoughts are lovely and timely as always! Thanks!! Love Linda

  2. Hi, I was just told this story last night by my wonderful Chakra Healer Satish, but I was a little confused and so I googled “story about an empty boat” and this came up. Thank you. It allowed me to see and hear its meaning.

    • Thank you, Zoe, I’m so glad you were able to realize the true meaning of the empty boat. Bless you!

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