Article: Zen Surfing
Photo: Tim Marshall
The Zen of Surf
Surfing means paddling out into the ocean, often at dawn, often alone, and sitting there on your board waiting for waves. You look at the horizon and watch. Minutes go by while fish, seals, dolphins, and sharks swim underneath your legs. You breathe in, you breathe out.
It is not surprising that there is a connection between surfing and meditation. Except for those exceptional days, when wave after wave rolls in, you have nothing to do except float there in the ocean, in relaxed alertness. When I began meditating in 1968, one of the first rituals I developed was to go to the beach before dawn, and meditate for 20 minutes, then go into the water at first light to catch a few waves before going up to the University to take classes. By the way, as of 2006, I am a total newbie surfer again, after not being on boards for 20 years. I have been in the ocean continuously, swimming for miles and bodysurfing, but not board surfing. Wow, it is HARD. I am just beginning to remember some moves.