From the vantage point of a dry hot beach the movement of surfers looks effortless. Some tumble, but those that ride the cusp of a wave make it look like an act of grace.
An unexpected bonus from my afternoon beginners class was an insight that trying to control the surfing experience is futile.
I happened to drop my surf board at the rental office never to return but the lesson about dropping control stuck with me for life.
You might think “Wouldn’t life would be chaotic, if not dangerous, if we didn’t control things? What about traffic, unruly teenagers, or a fast growing tumor? Surely these need to be controlled?”
Let’s slow down a bit because I’m not saying that action doesn’t have its’ place.
Think of the surfer again. The surfer learns to balance on a board, learns the movement of tide and current, learns what gear is needed. But beyond these essential elements a surfer simply shows up at the beach, wades into the sea with board and heads for the waves.
Surfers know that it’s not their job to control their arms, legs, the waves, wind or other surfers. They know it’s their job to clear their mind.
Surfers know that the supreme surfing experience happens when they’re not thinking about what they’re up to. They know that in open-mindedness they feel, sense and intuit how to balance, bend, lean, crouch and flex to move in harmony with the waves.
In an open-minded state the ‘me’ doing the surfing dissolves and they become ‘one’ with the wave, the ocean, the moment.
In this at-one-with-the-wave-moment they remember who they really are.
They recognize that their true self is not separate from the wave. So there is no wave to control. Their true self is not separate from the wind. So there is no wind to control. There is no separate surf board to control. No separate body to control.
There is only One Being expressed in different forms – wave, wind, surf board, arms, legs, torso – in one movement.
And so it is off the surf board.
It’s not our job to control events, people or circumstances. We’re here to lose our mind. To let go control.
As we let go we remember who we really are; pure essence. Connected with the essence of people, trees, chairs, mountains, waves, flowers, sounds and smells.
We come to know that all forms, from subtle to not so subtle, are downloaded expressions of the same source of formless energy.
Instead of seeing separate objects to organize, separate people to control, separate events to manage. We sense love in the heart of every encounter, every moment.
And this feeling of love guides us. Knows when to speak and when not to speak. Knows when to lean in and when to back off. Knows when open and when to close.
Like surfers on the crest of a wave when we lose control we gain mastery.