For some reason, I usually feel a need to justify, on an integral postmetaphysical spirituality web forum, that what I present is arguably and significantly-to-minimally within a shared triangulated mental space of those far-arcing concepts.

Though the small, Latest Activity - What are you up to? slot, which I often hear as "state(s)," has allowed me some inner wiggle room. Though I haven't used the Happy Hour thread much, that does, too.

Within this minor compulsion to be IPMS appropriate and relevant, the Book and Film Club category seems also to invite less strenuous criteria.

Hence, I mention a book on a topic of my most compelling and regularly favorite activity in this rather thin life of mine - surfing.

I surf most days, apart from a recent nine day hiatus, due to another triangulation - aka, accident - of right rib cage plus heavily glassed longboard plus ocean wave chaos theory demonstrated. [I feel a need to state that though in surfing I have had fleeting, mildly similar inner moments as just a few of these recounted ones, objectively, my skills are like early teen pick-up basketball at the park, as compared to, say, the Golden State Warriors - almost a different sport to watch.]

Regarding this Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan, I will briefly now mildly effort the case that there are spiritual signs and implications to surfing and to this journey which the book unpacks journalistically. Though, I have not finished A Surfing Life, so far, it is the best of only a few surfing related books that I have read.

I begin now with a quote of 1978 epic time spent on a small Pacific island by two young men completely alone, which may elicit from this pair of episodes the thought in you that, ok, those moments depicted arguably are signs of spirit, the spiritual, spirituality (as though, if there be such a thing as signs of spirit, they are not everywhere, or, "always already"):

    Paddling back out after a long ride was a nerve test. Exalted and depleted both. I found I could not watch another set pour through unridden. I was hardwired to grab a wave, even just an end-section. The idea that there would be more, that in ten minutes we would very likely be looking at another, equally good set from a much better takeoff spot far, far up the reef, simply had no traction in the psychology of scarcity, which was still mine. Bryan laughed unsympathetically as I hesitated, moaning, hyperventilating.
    Our conversation changed. It usually had a busy, must-say-everything edge to it, even during the long, lazy days of waiting for waves on Tavarua. But out in the lineup, once the swells started pumping, large pools of awe seemed to collect around us, hushing us, or reducing us to code and murmurs, as though we were in church. There was too much to say, too much emotion, and therefore nothing to say. "Look at this one" felt like grandiloquence. And it was only inadequate shorthand for "My God, look at this one." Which was in turn inadequate. It wasn't that the waves beggared language. It was more like they scrambled it. One overcast afternoon, with a southwest wind scrawling small-bore chop like scrollwork across the approaching faces, I realized I was seeing long German words in Gothic script, Arbeiterpartei and Oberkommando and Weltanshauung and Gotterdammerung, marching incongruously across the warm gray walls. I had been reading John Toland's biography of Hitler.Bryan had read it before me. I told him what I was seeing. "Blitzkrieg," he muttered. "Molotov-Ribbentrop."
    I rode a wave one evening, long after the sun had set, with the first stars already out, that stood up and seemed to bend off the reef toward open water, which was impossible. There was a dark, bottle-green light in the bottom of the wall and a feathering whiteness overhead. Everything else -- the wind-riffled face, the channel ahead, the sky -- was in shades of blue-blackness. As it bent, and then bent some more, I found myself seemingly surfing towards north Viti Levu, toward the mountain range where the sun rose. Not possible, my mind said. Keep going. The wave felt like a test of faith, or a test of sanity, or an enormous, undeserved gift. The laws of physics appeared to have relaxed. A hollow wave was roaring off into deep water. Not possible. It felt like a runaway train, an eruption of magical realism, with that ocean-bottom light and the lacy white canopy. I ran with it. Eventually it bent back, of course, found the reef, and tapered into the channel. I didn't tell Bryan about it. He wouldn't believe me. That wave was otherworldly. (p.p. 202-203)

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Speaking of surfing, one of my fav cult classics is Point Break. The original with Swayze and Reeves, not that abominable remake. The story is indeed about the spirituality of the surfing life from the protagonist Bodhi(sattva).

 

Uhm, what I remember most about the movie was the plan of Swayze's character to end life in an upcoming mega-swell on an upcoming monster wave. I wasn't surfing then but I could feel strong visceral fear around this frightening feat and this quite intentional existential meet-up with death.

Past or aside from the fear, I also could relate to the act. Feeling in a corner, no satisfactory ways out, take control by walking towards the temporally inevitable abyss.

I am thinking about Patrick Swayze dying young, at age 57. I am remembering the movie Ghost, about an early death. I am overlaying this selected-3dot-connecting constellation, and I'm choosing to feel a synchronicity.

As to spirituality - sure, if not much else, facing an "ultimate concern" drops us into what's left unobscured. It seems to me.

For a surfer, albeit in an exceedingly minor league, reading the descriptions, of which I transcribe only a few paragraphs amidst chapters, is as if spending youthful and leisurely hours with a loving lover til deep fulfillment of heart. Not to overstate :)

These few words from a section on Madeira (a Portuguese island far south of Lisbon) evocatively titled, "Basso Profundo," referring to wave conditions of magnitude.

"I got three of them in quick succession one gray morning. Peter had gone to the north coast at dawn, guessing wrong about what the wind and swell would do. During the previous winter, we had found on the north coast a spot we called, for reasons now obscure, Madonna. We had never seen anyone else in the water there. It was a silky, wind-protected left at the base of a waterfall-striped cliff -- a quicksilver wave, sweet and swift. I felt its call, wondered what it was doing, every day. Peter headed that morning, on a hunch, to Madonna. But it was a long trip, and there was a solid swell hitting at Paul do Mar, and the first rule of chasing waves is never drive away from surf, so I didn't go. He took another guy with him.

The shore break at Paul looked too fearsome for me. I made the round-about slog from the east. The village of Paul do Mar was long, narrow, dusty and semi-industrial -- nothing like the dense tile-roofed hamlet of Jardim up on its sparkling headland. Paul stank for a start. At the east end of town, by the wharf, it had a strong fish smell. To the west, where the surf was, the stench was lavatorial -- people used the shoreline rocks as an open air toilet. There was primitive worker housing strung along the sea-facing road. Dirty, half-naked children jeered at strange cars. On certain afternoons, roughly half the adults in Paul do Mar seemed to be falling-down drunk. People in Paul, I eventually learned, considered the people in Jardim snobs. Jardimeiros considered Paulinhos riffraff. The two villages faced each other across a mile of sea, with a mountain between them and no other settlement in sight. Their rivalry went back centuries. I got to like them both.

On that gray morning, I paddled far outside and then parallel to shore, trying to see what the wave ahead was doing. It looked big, smooth, peaky, ferocious. There were a couple of guys out, young Portuguese mainland hotshots on tiny boards. I stopped and surfed with them a while. They were excellent surfers but played it safe, riding the shoulders of waves that were already breaking long before we caught sight of them. Effectively they were contenting themselves with scraps. Lovely scraps, to be sure. Still, I was on my gun. I was nervous but not weak with fear, even when the heavy sections on the set waves threw out and boomed upcoast. I started moving deeper, paddling west. The usual lineup markers were a pair of brick smokestacks, but those, I could see, wouldn't work today. The main peak today was much farther west.

The peak that I ended up riding was not especially far from shore. It was on the west side of a channel I hadn't seen before -- a choppy stretch where a heavy current, a huge amount of water, was hurrying out to sea. I had to angle in and paddle hard to cross the channel, which didn't seem to be following a bottom contour. Evidently, this ocean-bound river had been created simply by the dynamics, the angle, and the sheer volume of this morning's swell. Beyond it, I found a frightening but completely intelligible -- unusually intelligible -- surf spot: a big, clean, fast-moving, classic horseshoe peak. I knew where to go -- out to the place where it stood up tall -- and that's where I went.

I caught three waves, just a few minutes apart, each from the heart of the peak. They were textbook waves: huge drops, gaping barrels, reliable shoulders, not very long rides. The water was murky, a stirred-up turquoise-gray, so I couldn't see if the boulders on the bottom were inching backward on the takeoffs or not. Still, I could tell, deep in my chest, that everything was wrong with these waves. The water ran up the face too fast, the lip threw out too hard. To anyone even moderately experienced, the physics of these waves were off. It was obviously too shallow. These waves were far too big for the amount of water they were breaking in. That was why they broke so hard, and why they fired me toward the shoulder like a too-light toy. I corrected for the ominous physics by being extra-aggressive, by overriding my normal takeoff instincts, and by having the right board. Precisely the right board. My third wave had a longer wave than the others. I rode farther down the line, out of the warped chamber of the great takeoff barrel section, onto a relatively flat face, where I got slapped off by a whitewater paw, tumbled a bit, and then came up in a calm area, quite near shore, just inside the rip current. I saw my chance, sprinted for land, and hit the rocks feet first on the back of a shore break wave that chose, after seeming to consider the matter imperiously, to spare me. It drew back, not overpoweringly, while I hugged a rock, and a few second nods later I was standing on dry land, in weak sun, waving to a group of kids who had been watching me from a concrete wall, yelling and whistling after each of my rides. The kids were silent now. They waved back noncommittally.

I walked slowly down the coast road through the village. I was barefoot, dripping. To the Paulinhos, I knew, I was one of these new estrangeiros, these foreign savages, who washed in from the sea with a flimsy craft, finned and pale. Nobody said, "Bom dia." A high, salt-corroded wall blocked my view of the ocean. Those three waves. I had rarely, if ever, ridden more critical waves. It did not bear thinking about what would have happened if I had misjudged a takeoff, of slipped, or hesitated for an instant. Really, all I had done was surf them correctly, after dialing up my aggression to a level befitting a far better, braver surfer than me. Luck had played a big part, but so had long experience. I recognized those waves as lethal but also as nearly flawless and, with the real gut equipment and sufficient technique, ridable.

I kept expecting to start shaking, to get hit by some racking adrenaline drain, now that I was safe on land. Instead, I felt fantastic, quiet, light on my feet. I came to a little cafe. I had been there before, and the owner gave me coffee and a bun on credit. From the raised cafe steps,ni could see the ocean. Great sets were now reeling down the coast, even bigger than earlier. The rip channel had vanished. So I had caught a brief window of big, highly concentrated, well organized waves at a spot that was no longer there. My luck had been extravagant. I felt like finding a church, lighting a candle, and humbling myself.

What was I doing? Why was I here? I was a grown-up, a husband, a citizen, full stop f conventional public-spiritedness in my real life. My American life. I was forty-four years old, for Christ's sake. And not a church-goer. Everything felt unreal, including my sense of disbelief. And yet the cup in my hand did not shake. Indeed, the weak instant coffee tasted sublime." (pp 364-367)

So much of what William Finnegan has said here rings a bell with my meager experiences. On a dinky scale, I have been thrown against high-tide rocks where I had my feet out in front of me for protection and managed to scramble out - not death defying probably like him, but board breaking, leg breaking, head breaking possibilities, and an annoying adrenaline-fear-juice cocktail coursing through the tissues. Afterwards, maybe a while afterwards, some sortof chuckles and story-telling.

I loved his phrase of getting knocked off a wave by "a white-water paw." That's exactly how I experienced one, and described it, at the end of 2015 - a random-seeming, surprise rising-up of a breaking lip and knocking me over the falls - though because of only head-high plus a little size and some softness, it was mostly an amusement.

This winter I had two longboards break on big-for-me (with sketchy skills) days, and a third one got wrecked on the rocks when the leash got torn off my calf. (I was able to crudely patch the fins back into place and the raised fiberglass down sufficient to ride some more as a beater board.) The other two were snapped in two, one light-weight epoxy board, while turtleing under a crashing wave as I paddled out.

Stories. But, his stories are high quality - the best - aged single-malt, with a flan side-dish!

Immediately below is a strong board I used for 3-4 years. I calculated for my friend who gave it to me that I probably logged between 750 and 1000 sessions on it. I liked the greater than usual amount of nose rocker. It was a bit of a log, an SUV among sporty vehicles, patched repeatedly, well into the ugly zone, but I had come to love the Ron Jon and to feel fairly solid on it. On a rather big-day-for-me, paddling back out after a long ride into the cove, a wave tore the leash fastening fin clean out of my "rhino-chaser", as a surf-buddy had called it once. The board flew across the broad expanse of whitewater to get launched up onto the high-tide rock berm, and cracko-snappo, substantial wooden center stringer like a twig. From deep into the center of the bay, I swam back in, fleeting wonderings without much seriousness if I was going to drown today. It wasn't actually such a big deal, but the stringerless-mind has a mind of its own.

Here below is the replacement, a somewhat more performancy, very lightly epoxy-glassed 9 footer, with a high-density-foam lengthwise running stringer that was like no stringer at all. I shouldn't have had it out that day because, in retrospect, it was probably a shoulder-high strength board, max. It was held together by a teeny bit of sheered surface and flip-flopped under me as I nursed it on my belly into shore, hoping it wouldn't separate in the water and make the trek back in more awkward.

Hah.



Ambo Suno said:


So much of what William Finnegan has said here rings a bell with my meager experiences. On a dinky scale, I have been thrown against high-tide rocks where I had my feet out in front of me for protection and managed to scramble out - not death defying probably like him, but board breaking, leg breaking, head breaking possibilities, and an annoying adrenaline-fear-juice cocktail coursing through the tissues. Afterwards, maybe a while afterwards, some sortof chuckles and story-telling.

I loved his phrase of getting knocked off a wave by "a white-water paw." That's exactly how I experienced one, and described it, at the end of 2015 - a random-seeming, surprise rising-up of a breaking lip and knocking me over the falls - though because of only head-high plus a little size and some softness, it was mostly an amusement.

This winter I had two longboards break on big-for-me (with sketchy skills) days, and a third one got wrecked on the rocks when the leash got torn off my calf. (I was able to crudely patch the fins back into place and the raised fiberglass down sufficient to ride some more as a beater board.) The other two were snapped in two, one light-weight epoxy board, while turtleing under a crashing wave as I paddled out.

Stories. But, his stories are high quality - the best - aged single-malt, with a flan side-dish!


"leash fastening fin" should read "leash fastening metal pin".

Recently, I finished another surfing memoir, shorter, literarily simpler, still pithy and true, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest To Find Zen On The Sea, by Jaimal Yogis.

Here below, I transcribe two bits that convey plenty about this young man's life and life generally:

[https://www.amazon.com/Saltwater-Buddha-Surfers-Quest-Find-ebook/dp...]

I often imagined Santa Cruz was the American Pure Land -- the realm in the western quadrant of the American universe -- because sometimes it seemed like paradise...

And like Amitabha's Pure Land, lots of things in Santa Cruz reminded one to practice...

I made the rounds. I learned some Sanskrit mantras and stood on my head for too long and projected myself into the Great Mandala. I bowed at various guru's feet and got their shaktipat, their touch of purified consciousness or whatever. I was curious.

But eventually I went back to being a somewhat jaded Zen Buddhist without a teacher. I decided that the whole guru thing wasn't for me, at least not in the formal sense. Problems with authority, I guess. But it was more than that, too. A lot of the 'guru-gurus' I saw or heard seemed to have a weird hierarchical following that reminded me of a pyramid scheme, of spiritual celebrity-ism. I didn't spend enough time with any of them to name names. But I saw enough to know I wasn't a guru kind of guy.

And that was a big recognition for me. When I first got into Buddhism, all I wanted was an old rickety Zen master to whack me  with a stick and give me impossible koans and teach me to chop trees down with my bare hands. I had wanted the Buddhist fairy tale. I was guru-needy. (And I didn't like it when anyone suggested this might be because I wasn't close with my dad.) But in the same way that smoking too much all at once can make you want to quit, Santa Cruz seemed to be my cure for the guru obsession.

And maybe that was the Western Pure Land's real teaching: If everything teaches Dharma  all the time, what do you need a guru for." (pp. 152-153)

[I have run out of energy for transcription at this moment - probably more later.]


"I like to compare the samsaric mind to a surfer who is out on a perfect day but can't settle down and enjoy it because there are too many good waves he can't get to in time. So he paddles up and down frantically,missing most of the best waves, and getting more frustrated as he goes. The Buddha spent some forty years teaching people how how to get out of that situation.



… And actually I recall that one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, a witty British monk named Ajahn Amaro once used a surfing metaphor to describe why. He explained how surfers struggle and struggle to get out into the waves. They get three seconds of fun, he said, and get pounded. Then they fight and struggle some more for another measly three seconds…

… As I already mentioned, the guy who went on to become the sixth Ancester of Zen, an illiterate peasant, got enlightenened while doing his job: chopping wood. 'Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water,; after enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

I had always had a hard time with this teaching, which is probably why I went from being a wannabe monk to a surf bum. But in the moment of huffing and puffing through the stockades at Ocean Beach, I got a glimpse. From the perspective of utter love for surfing, paddling was always okay, no matter how difficult, no matter how hopeless. Sure, it wasn't as fun as riding a wave. But it was part of it. They were the same -- interdependent. No paddle, no surf. No samsara, no nirvana.

And if paddling out on a day like this could be enjoyable, I figured maybe all of life's challenges could be -- maybe even a real job.

Maybe there was no rat race to escape…" (Saltwater Buddha; pp. 178-181)

Ambo Suno said:

Recently, I finished another surfing memoir, shorter, literarily simpler, still pithy and true, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest To Find Zen On The Sea, by Jaimal Yogis.

Here below, I transcribe two bits that convey plenty about this young man's life and life generally:

[https://www.amazon.com/Saltwater-Buddha-Surfers-Quest-Find-ebook/dp...]

I often imagined Santa Cruz was the American Pure Land -- the realm in the western quadrant of the American universe -- because sometimes it seemed like paradise...

And like Amitabha's Pure Land, lots of things in Santa Cruz reminded one to practice...

I made the rounds. I learned some Sanskrit mantras and stood on my head for too long and projected myself into the Great Mandala. I bowed at various guru's feet and got their shaktipat, their touch of purified consciousness or whatever. I was curious.

But eventually I went back to being a somewhat jaded Zen Buddhist without a teacher. I decided that the whole guru thing wasn't for me, at least not in the formal sense. Problems with authority, I guess. But it was more than that, too. A lot of the 'guru-gurus' I saw or heard seemed to have a weird hierarchical following that reminded me of a pyramid scheme, of spiritual celebrity-ism. I didn't spend enough time with any of them to name names. But I saw enough to know I wasn't a guru kind of guy.

And that was a big recognition for me. When I first got into Buddhism, all I wanted was an old rickety Zen master to whack me  with a stick and give me impossible koans and teach me to chop trees down with my bare hands. I had wanted the Buddhist fairy tale. I was guru-needy. (And I didn't like it when anyone suggested this might be because I wasn't close with my dad.) But in the same way that smoking too much all at once can make you want to quit, Santa Cruz seemed to be my cure for the guru obsession.

And maybe that was the Western Pure Land's real teaching: If everything teaches Dharma  all the time, what do you need a guru for." (pp. 152-153)

[I have run out of energy for transcription at this moment - probably more later.]

"I walked out into the snow. It was falling steadily in heavy white flakes, in sheets. The snow on the sidewalk was up to my knees and I trudged toward what I hoped was the beach…

I could just make them out: dark, rolling lines turning into white foam. And as I got closer they…they were good --- Jesus, real good… exploding off a riprap jetty, then peeling left for a good thirty yards…

I changed into my suit on the boardwalk, shrieking as my bare feet touched the snow before slipping them into my booties. 'Praise the booties. Praise the booties.' I mumbled, rushing to put on the rest: a thick hood and lobster gloves...

As I got closer I saw a few other nut cases in the water, too. So at least I wasn't alone…

And before long, I was on one of those lefts, the first real wave I'd caught all year. It was a few feet overhead, and thick, and long… It was a good wave, as good as almost any point wave I'd ridden in California -- but strangely, surreally, this one was in Brooklyn, in the snow. I caught wave after wave and chatted with two other surfers…

…the sun was setting and the other guys were getting out. They waved and I considered going in. Nah. Just one more wave…

I suddenly was staring at a beautiful emerald green wall of water speckled with white foam, towering above me. It had come from nowhere: a sleeper -- a rogue. There was nothing I could do. Sharp rocks were on all sides of me and I was in the wave's shadow. And it was falling -- fast. I leapt into it, board out in front of me, as it hollowed and fell. But I couldn't pierce it. It was thick, it's lip alone several feet wide. The wall slapped me backwards easily, like a grizzly batting a river salmon.

It all happened so quickly. But time moved slower as I flew back, back -- suspended, it seemed, for seconds, an eternity. I shut my eyes, and as I fell, I had one thought: this is it.

I was sure the wave would smack me against the riprap and crack my skull or shatter my spinal column into thousands of pieces. Scientists would find me many years from now floating in an iceberg, my leash still clinging to my ankle. They would remark, no doubt dispassionately, how dumb I must have been to be surfing mid-winter in the first place.

And then I hit. Fwap-swashle-blaup-slup-shwuopfwaboosh! My body bounced. But not hard like I'd expected. Something -- the water? -- wrapped around my body: a soft cloak. And then all was dark. And quiet. And I was deep below.

Maybe this is death, I thought. The quiet before…whatever. And in the cold dark, I was surprisingly unafraid. I couldn't breath for some immeasurable amount of time. It felt like the sea was just sitting on me, waiting and pondering. And under her weight, momenttarily, everything went soft like a scribbly television screen with a faint buzz, like a field of dry grass, like a leaf.

But then I needed air. I really needed air. And I gulped and struggled. And finally it lifted. And I was rising, then choking, then gasping, then breathing. And I wasn't dead. I wasn't dea--

Oh motherf--!

Another wave, equally thick, equally powerful, surged onto me. It lifted me up, then shoved me down, back into the graveyard of riprap. Bones jangled against hard corners. Arms covered head. Body curled into a ball. Chaos. Swirling. Dark again. Pressure. I felt to my left (rock), to my right (rock), above me (rock). I was wedged under boulders under water. But still, apparently, not dead. Not dead, the thought repeated. Not dead.

My body wiggled and pried. And loose from whatever. I'd been wedged into, swam -- up, up, up -- toward the light.

And that's when I noticed a speck, a grey laser point of light. and then the laser point opened. And it was… was it a bird? It was so bright, but bigger now. No it was a cloud. And I was breathing again. No, it was several clouds. Lots of clouds. And then it opened fully, as if the whole view had been constructed from the single point of light. And I saw it clearly. The sky. Of course. The sky so bright grey. So blinding.

I looked down and saw the water. Black. Metalic black. Bright black. There was the sea and the sky and there was bright light everywhere. Light all around me. Nothing but light.

And the light came together -- cohered into shapes. Sky. Sea. Cloud. I breathed. And it was loud -- the breath. And the crackling sea. The water droplets popped like, like, Rice Krispies. It was all so loud and bright and hard -- very hard.

Down there it's quiet, came the thought. Dark. Soft. No edges. No sharp lines.

Down there.


I felt my body covered in this weird thick rubber. Bruised. But functioning. Limbs all there. Human limbs. My board was gone, shattered fiberglass, gone forever.

And then I realized I was floating next to the jetty. Next to the rocks. Sharp rocks. Senses sharpened. Hearing. Sight. Danger. The waves had stopped briefly. I was between sets. I could see the horizon. She, the sea, was letting me go. And then, everything popped: Yes. She was letting me go. Light. Clarity. Life. I wanted it. I definitely wanted it. And so I swam. I swam hard, away from the jetty, out beyond the breaking waves. And I floated there for a moment in the deep black water and looked around at the inhuman vastness and felt like a minute piece of sand. I swam towards the shore, coughing up saltwater as I pulled. I swam and swam and crawled out of the water, laying belly down against the snow. I placed my bare cheek on the cold whiteness. It burned. I licked it. Pure water. sweet water.

I took a bite.

I flipped onto my back. It was snowing lightly now, gently. My breathing was heavy, with a grinding sound in my chest. I was delirious, definitely not right somehow. Yet also clear, more clear than usual, I thought. I ran through what I knew.

I knew who I was. Jaimal Nikos Yogis.

I hadn't lost it all. I could feel the weight of my body on the snow. Solid. I knew that I was in Brooklyn and that I had to go back to class soon. Yes, class.

But I also was seeing differently, seeing -- how should I say -- as if in surround sound, not just through the eyes. More of a tactile seeing, above and below and to the sides seeing. And I don't really know how to put this in words, but I saw all the stuff of my life -- stories, and careers, and and buddhas, and surfboards, and girlfriends -- as if from a distance, and it seemed somehow unreal, like a bad sitcom. I didn't want to pick it all up. Not yet, I thought. Just wait…. just wait a moment.

Because the snow. Yes. The snow. I wanted to watch the snow fall. Just see it. Breathe it. How the flakes drifted down in a pattern. Yes, I was almost sure of it. And I'd never noticed it in such a way. But it was -- it was a pattern of falling, too complex to decipher, and always changing. But perfectly ordered. Every flake, placed just so, fluttering just right. And each one so delicate, so intricate, so different. And so fundamentally the same. I cried just because. And it felt wonderful. It felt like an immeasurable burden was lifting from my chest. I let tears fall into the snow.

I cried for a minute, or two, or five. I don't know. But then sat up and looked around. Big sea. White beach. Beige apartments…



A human pattern -- a story that tried desperately to make sense. But ultimately just fell and fell and fell, like snowflakes, like wave after wave. This pattern's only job was to be, perfectly, just where it was.

And then to melt.

Flow. Wind. Crash. Rush.

And then to become, finally, the sea." (Saltwater Buddha; pp. 213-224)

[Any mistakes are mine in the transcription, and I left out some italics that gave more meaning for the author.]



Ambo Suno said:


"I like to compare the samsaric mind to a surfer who is out on a perfect day but can't settle down and enjoy it because there are too many good waves he can't get to in time. So he paddles up and down frantically,missing most of the best waves, and getting more frustrated as he goes. The Buddha spent some forty years teaching people how how to get out of that situation.practice...

Here is a story by a local surfer-entrepreneur that speaks to some of the existential-'spiritual' tensions around surfing. As usual, at a much smaller scale, I have experienced some of what he highlights here.

Life-death feeling-thoughts probably are, according to my integral-spiritual geology, about as close to those experiences of "ultimate concern" as I get. So, though my own experiences be relatively slight, my attention perks when I read and hear of close calls. This article has some entertainment value as well.

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=105ddf84e1ab0a94f70c587b7&i...

As an aside, I wrote a number of surf articles for Derek's Wave Tribe site a few years ago. I hadn't been on the site for a while, and as I visit it now I see that it is much more polished than before. My 8 semi-dorky articles, and those of other contributors, are no longer there. Impermanence illustrated :)

https://www.wavetribe.com/

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