“Waves!!!” – first word in a sms from my friend Jessica at 8:59 AM today. As I woke up at 5, then by that time I had already done an hour Vipassana sitting meditation, morning exercises, written further an outline for the the book “Stories in Drawings Around the World” and edited some of the drawings. Also had made breakfast – roasted almonds, oatmeal, raisins in a coconut oil and served it with coconut yogurt from local organic shop “El Paraisio”. Also added some fresh papaya and bananas. On the top of it all pressed lime juice.
When I got the sms, the sky was cloudy and weather not so warm, but it was no time for excuses, because there can be days without good waves. And most of all, I couldn’t let the beginner’s mindset trick me. Having time on the ocean with Jessica is too precious – she is a great teacher. So I walked to her place and got the board, while she was feeding her 2 months old baby Hugo. And then to the beach!…being the only ones there.
I had surfed few times before now in Santa Cruz (U.S.), but it was 10 years ago… So I have no body memory of this action. But I love being in the water – it seems like my natural habitat.
During today’s lesson I noticed how I was struggling keeping the balance while paddling with the arms. As I was losing balance, I instinctively gripped to the board and had to start all over again. I also tried to keep the balance with my whole body. I knew I was using more energy than necessary.
When learning about engineering during architecture studies, I felt so inspired by the physics of balance – something to be balanced, needs only 3 points of contact with the supporting ground. I have played with this knowledge, while doing sculptures and it came to mind today on the surfboard. I was thinking what are the most optimal 3 points that could keep me anchored to the board, but also let the body to move. I chose to concentrate on a triangle containing hip bones and upper belly. As I made that decision and focused on these points, the balancing became easier and mind more quiet.
I took a deep breath – everything was suddenly calm and clear, including the ocean – no waves. I fell into a state of awe while experiencing the beauty of the presence – body balancing on the gently rocking board, transparency of the water, air moving…and then a perfect wave appeared. With this calm mindset I somehow knew exactly what to do to catch it and flow towards the shore. With no extra effort.
I got excited and paddled back to catch another one. But the enthusiastic and (unreasonably) more confident mind kept me from succeeding. I was thrown off the board once and then jumped back and was right away hit again. But I kept on going with a feeling of pleasant silliness and humour in the mind. Finally when I decided to finish and paddle towards the land, a smooth wave came and carried me with an ease to the shore. I smiled to the ocean – so powerful… yet so sweet and gentle.
It’s hard to keep the awareness when doing a sitting meditation, but on the surfboard it’s 100 times harder. Today though, I saw the potential.
Great respect to all of the masters on the waves!