Aloha all, here is a link to my interview with Occult of Personality.
Aloha all, here is a link to my interview with Occult of Personality.
“Surfing the Tao” is a phrase created in an attempt to nutshell what could be the most important aspect of spiritual truth, or the Way of Life. A reader once sent me a great quote, “It is a lot like surfing… you catch a wave by being prepared, timing your move and having your board in position. Like surfing, you have some control, but the Flow has all the power.” Since I live in Hawaii the analogy seemed appropriate; and indeed there is a certain zen to the sport.
If you’re just hearing about “Surfing the Tao” here are a few bullet points. It’s not about any particular religion; it’s about how we choose to live each moment, although it does contain spiritual concepts from all corners of the world. We can argue endlessly about who is ‘right’ – but we could be just missing the point. Each person has their own path to walk, and we all find truth in our own ways. However, as our greatest sages have remarked, eventually our paths will all converge on the Great Path.
Our great spiritual teachers have all encouraged love in the search for enlightenment. Many have defined “God” (or Tao, Father, Force, Beloved, Brahman, Great Spirit; whatever) as that flowing consciousness of love, the goal being to become “one” with this Force. So the basic idea of “Surfing the Tao” is choosing love for direction of your actions. The truth is simple – not easy, but simple. Still your mind and instead listen to your spiritual nature, that which is connected to the Tao, the Force. Allow the Tao to flow through you, and hop on for the ride of your life. Use various methods – you can use a long board or a short board, right-footed or left, but you’re still allowing the wave to carry you.
Surfing is an individual sport, and Surfing the Tao is a silent, inner revolution of spirit. The outer world will not provide the whole answer. Truth is within you; amplify the Voice by tuning in to love. Then, one person at a time, we can change our reality to one of peace and harmony.
The Master keeps her mind at one with the Tao; that is what gives her her radiance. The Tao is ungraspable. How can her mind be at one with it? Because she doesn’t cling to ideas. The Tao is dark and unfathomable. How can it make her radiant? Because she lets it. Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see. (Tao Te Ching, #21)
To be ‘one’ with the Tao means to live with the awareness of this Flow, even if we may not understand it completely. We may still find ourselves faced with various daily fears and issues – but it is how we react to these troubles, which determines our progress along the spiritual path. We have a choice – we can either react along with our worldly programming, becoming hurt, angry, or fearful; or we can choose to react instead with calmness and kindness. This choice, an act of our free will, is the greatest power we have to overcome obstacles along our path. It is a step towards awakening our Spirits.
Surfing the Tao refers to an awareness of this ‘Higher Power’, or consciousness, without all the trappings, archaic ritual or questionable authority of a worldly religion. Our greatest sages all taught us that the truth is contained within us – all we need to do is be still long enough to find it. With stillness and love, we can awaken our spirits. The experience can be profound – or subtle. Often it can be both. The changes happen gradually at first, when the mind finally rests of chatter, and true breath takes hold. Breathing techniques, prayer, yoga, meditation and other tools are available to us which can help us along this path. But they are only a means to an end, not the end in and of themselves.
Find love within you and you have found the Tao. Behave peacefully amidst the chaos and you have found the Tao. Live in harmony with others, and with nature, and you have found the Tao. As you walk through each moment of your life in this way, your awareness of this higher power will grow and grow, until it is no longer difficult to be the eye of the storm. Surf the Tao to a higher consciousness, and watch your life, and the world, transform.
“It is a lot like surfing… you catch a wave by being prepared, timing your move and having your board in position. Like surfing, you have some control, but the Flow has all the power.”
There was something formless and perfect
Before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #25
What is the “Tao”? It is a Chinese word which means “Way”. Buddha also spoke of this One Way, and even Jesus said, “I am the Way…” I believe they were all referring to the Void, this great Everything; God, in the universal sense. Finding words to describe this Force is difficult. I recommend quantum physics as another avenue towards understanding (check out the book The Tao of Physics by Frijof Capra). I call this Way of Life “Surfing the Tao”, and I use the wisdom from various sources to further the message.
“All things, material and spiritual, originate from one source and are related as if they were one family. The past, present, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source, and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.” -Ueshiba, The Art of Peace.
Simple realization of this Tao, or Way, can change ones perspective radically. Introspection and meditation can lead one to higher levels of awareness and understanding. One eventually realizes that it is the pursuit of the impersonal wherein realization of the Self arises: when one understands that All is One, and there is no Self – that is, that we are rather part of the Great Self – then our daily sufferings become perceptively smaller.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
But the infinite universe stands
Always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
No difference, for definitions have vanished
And no boundaries are seen…
One thing, all things:
Move among and intermingling,
To live in this realization
Is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
Sounds like Lao Tzu, doesn’t it? Buddha, like Lao Tzu, also suggests not to dislike the world of senses and ideas, but just to realize, with enlightenment there is no liking or disliking. Lao Tzu said, “the Master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. His heart is open as the sky.”
These masters taught us, that even though reality as we see it is an illusion, that to be a good and loving person within it is important. They teach compassion, harmony, peace, generosity and serenity. Buddha said, “To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and attachment cannot be limited: even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.”