In zen there is a teaching that's says "To swallow the Pacific Ocean is the easiest thing, inside and outside are no longer two." I prefer to think of it as the power of the ocean to dissolve the walls we put within ourselves and the world outside. Dissociation, or loss of connection to self, others and nature is one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest issue in the world today. Now more than ever even though we are so plugged into the world through technology there is great need for connection.
Connection is not limited to human beings but is embedded in nature. And that's where surfing comes in - the power of being in nature. It demands a letting go of expectations and requires our total presence in the moment. When that happens we begin to take notice of our surroundings, to be a little awed and humbled through direct contact with nature. It's as if the salt water literally dissolves the barriers we put, the fears worries we carry with us in land, and we are no longer separate but a part of it all.
The power of nature can also bring us face to face with those fears in a very real way. In that environment, a heaving, wild Atlantic Ocean detonating all it's energy on some remote slab of rock, I learn about my level of trust with a power greater than myself. A wave, all the waves - those challenges we face in life, becomes a mirror to our souls reflecting our fear and our willingness to face it.
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