Riding the wave, not driving it

Asilomar beach, Pacific Grove, California

Asilomar beach, Pacific Grove, California

Taking it as it comes

I spoke to a friend about surfing. He surfs. I do not. Yet.

I was so curious about the experience that I just listened to his description and reserved judgement until I had some time to absorb what he said. He started off with the simple intention of riding a wave. He visited the ocean every chance he could and spent a long time just paddling on his stomach, building upper body strength, and getting used to being with the powerful ocean’s energy. Then at one point, he knew to get up and stand on the board.
He felt that the success of the ride had to do with a partnership between himself and nature. Making the right choice instinctively in the moment, never becoming arrogant and misjudging his own individual power over the situation, he also had to learn from his own experience and from the guidance of those with more “wave hours” than he himself had logged.
The man who taught me to meditate is also a lifelong surfer, and although I have not heard him speak much of the experience, he did use the “ocean and wave” analogy repeatedly. The number of skilled surfers who also happen to meditate in our tradition and many others seems to be exponentially increasing. As sports go, I can think of few that are as simpatico to the Vedic way of perceiving the world as surfing.

When I find the right teacher, I hope to do it myself.

The Indian subcontinent has about 7000 km of coastline, and surfing is gaining popularity there.