• CREDOS : Mindful surfing — III

After a few weeks of daily beatings, I learned the most important principle of surfing: a wave, no matter how large, is still just water. If you understand the wave and how it moves, you don’t have to be afraid of it. When I realised this on an experiential level - through learning how to “duck dive” under or through the wave so that its spiraling energy sucks you under and spits you toward the horizon - the waves lost their ability to paralyse me. I began to see through them, and also enjoy riding them.

The same thing happens in meditation with waves of thought. At first our minds are stormy, and the water is choppy and mucky with silt and sand. We get thrown around by currents with little awareness. The waves are too close together and they all seem very solid, very real. But as we practice regularly, the winds of thought become gentler and the sea gets what surfers call “glassy.”

There are surges of thought, but they are distinguishable, like the sets of waves that surfers patiently wait for because they’re the easiest to anticipate. Because of the quiet space between them, we can recognise these thoughts as they swell into our consciousness: excitement, pride, planning, anger. We see can ride them with the stability, balance, and poise of a skilled surfer, or let them pass. And the more aware we become, we can even begin to see that the wave is impermanent and lacks individuality. It’s the same substance as the ocean, the basic nature. — Beliefnet.com