Surfing the Tao

“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.

Practicing Eternity

“The Tao …is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities.” – Tao Te Ching #4

Centuries ago everyone knew the world was flat, and that the Earth was the center of the Universe. The geocentric, or Earth-centered, view of Reality was the leading philosophical and religious belief during the Middle Ages, held since Aristotle. This view appealed to the human ego, as well as to the powerful religious leaders of the time eager to maintain their authority. Copernicus started no less than a scientific revolution when he suggested otherwise, and later scientists Bruno and Galileo would suffer greatly for it during the Inquisition.

Why was the Church so intent on refuting evidence that our world, and our species, were not the center of God’s creation? Of course, because it would disrupt the vast power base they had so carefully constructed, with them in charge not only of the religious, cultural and legal framework of society, but over the concept of Reality itself. In order for them to retain their power, they had to convince the populace that their power and authority came from God Himself. To believe otherwise directly confronted their control over the western world at the time, and could be very dangerous.

Surprisingly, in today’s ultra-modern, high-tech world, we find ourselves under similar illusions. Of course, we all know the world is round, and that it is just one of many planets, in one of many solar systems, in a vast and expanding universe. However, even though quantum physicists have known for decades that we live in merely one small slice of a much larger dimensional framework, the world at large is for the most part unwilling or unable to comprehend or accept what this revelation could mean to us. As Lao Tzu wrote, “true wisdom seems foolish.” (#45)

Such awareness would place us at an even smaller level of importance than we believed we held in medieval times. And human ego is still hard at work, convinced of our self-centered belief that this is the only world, the only Reality, that we can Know. Not to mention, the power and authority of our time has just as many reasons to keep us from knowing beyond or present reckoning of Reality as did the Church during the Inquisition. Our governments and corporations do not want us to acquire awareness outside of their established parameters. They have too much to lose.

Our wise and ancient sages long ago attempted to open our eyes to a broader concept of Reality, and our true place within it, but their words mean little to today’s short attention spans, media conglomerates, personal gratification and insufferable egos. If we merely listened carefully to the words of Lao Tzu, Buddha or even Jesus, we might learn that what we term and define as conscious Reality is no more than the resonating ball of light and shade explanation set forth by famous scientists such as Einstein and Tesla. Lao Tzu wrote, “seeing into darkness is clarity.” (#52) Whether explained through spiritual or scientific words, what’s important is the realization that things are not as they seem, and we might we wise to look beyond our physical senses for the ultimate definition of Reality. If we could set aside our egos, maybe we could live in harmony with each other and our world. “If you keep your mind from judging and aren’t led by the senses, your heart will find peace.” (#52)

Imagine what an eye-opener it must have been to learn the Earth is round, instead of flat. Some people may have continued to scoff the idea regardless of scientific evidence. Today, even the well-educated scoff at the notion of a multitude of dimensional realities. And this is merely the tip of the iceberg. As a species, we cannot be said to know even one small percentage of what there is to Know. How can we argue which religion is right, or which government is best, if we are not even looking in the right places? Learn from the sages, or learn from the scientists. Understand the Tao, or the Unified Field. The real truth of our Reality is within us, within each and every person. We are part of It, and It is within us. Read between the lines, and Surf the Tao into a higher awareness of Reality, and a new world of peace. It’s up to you.

“Of all discoveries and opinions, none may have exerted a greater effect on the human spirit than the doctrine of Copernicus. The world had scarcely become known as round and complete in itself when it was asked to waive the tremendous privilege of being the center of the universe. Never, perhaps, was a greater demand made on mankind – for by this admission so many things vanished in mist and smoke! What became of our Eden, our world of innocence, piety and poetry; the testimony of the senses; the conviction of a poetic – religious faith? No wonder his contemporaries did not wish to let all this go and offered every possible resistance to a doctrine which in its converts authorized and demanded a freedom of view and greatness of thought so far unknown, indeed not even dreamed of.” -Goethe

The Tao of Physics

If you haven’t yet read this book by Fritjof Capra, I highly recommend it. It was of great help to me when I began my Journey, since I come from an analytical and intellectual background, and had no idea what to do with a mystical experience such as I had. Physicists like Capra are attempting to point out similarities between new quantum discoveries and Eastern mysticism (Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism), and it’s changing how we perceive our world. “The further we penetrate into the submicroscopic world, the more we shall realize how the modern physicist, like the Eastern mystic, has come to see the world as a system of inseparable, interacting and ever-moving components with the observer being an integral part of this system.” (p. 25)

Both new physics and mystical experiences are difficult to put into words – they are both full of paradox. Einstein wrote, “All my attempts to adapt the theoretical foundation of physics to this (new type of) knowledge failed completely. It was as if the ground had been pulled out from under one, with no firm foundation to be seen anywhere, upon which one could have built.” Capra wrote, “…discoveries of modern physics necessitated profound changes of concepts like space, time, matter, object, cause and effect…to change them felt something of a shock.” (p. 54)

The discovery that subatomic units were not solid objects sent a wave of disbelief through the scientific community. Further it was noted that the simple act of observation seemed to have an effect on them. They realized they could never predict atomic events with certainty. Thus, “Quantum theory has thus demolished the classical concepts of solid objects and of strictly deterministic laws of nature.” (p. 68) It seemed as if classical ideals of ‘reason’ were thrown out the window; as Capra quoted Chuang Tzu, “The most extensive knowledge does not necessarily know it; reasoning will not make men wise in it. The sages have decided against both these methods.” (p. 113)

Capra states that the mystic and physicist alike arrive at the same conclusion, “one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world…” (p. 305) He notes a further similarity, that both “their observations take place in realms which are inaccessible to the ordinary senses.” (p. 305)

For me, this book made the unreasonable reasonable, and the nonsensical sensible. It eased my aching analytical brain, and I was able to open myself to further ‘mystical’ experience – transforming my world and my life.

Awakening the Spirit

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.”

No Religion

Religion is the creation of man. It is how people have defined and structured spirituality in our world. More often than not it has been established and even forced upon people as a means of power and control throughout time, and still today. Within such confines, people are generally not taught how to connect with the Spirit within themselves, rather they are given a set of beliefs, taught specific rituals and to heed a worldly ‘religious’ authority.

Some even say that secret spiritual information (or disinformation) has been passed down from generation to generation within various spiritual organizations, particularly so-called ‘mystery’ religions, placing certain people in positions of power and even subtly misguiding the populace towards false beliefs and priorities. They use metaphysical truth to their advantage, cleverly interlacing it with small lies no one might notice. Their love for ritual and control has established strange rites and rituals, not to mention politics, in nearly every religion. Even the ancient and adored texts have praise for the Tao intermixed with strange stories of alien gods, bent on doing their own will in our dimension.

There is not one religion on our Earth today that is pure to the Tao, our one ‘God’ of love. They blurred our understanding using semantics and misinterpretations, so even the very word “God” has become corrupt. This has led many to refuse to consider any spiritual or metaphysical truths whatsoever, thereby throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

Instead of arguing which religion is ‘right’ (or refusing the investigate them at all), learn the basic truths each has to offer, repeated over and over again by our greatest sages, like Jesus, Lao Tzu, and Buddha. Read their own words, not what others have written about them, or the worldly ‘religions’ created in their wake. Instead, follow their simple Way of life. Live each moment in love and with compassion for your neighbor. Seek a higher awareness within yourself; learn to Surf the Tao and help transform the world.

“Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos.” –Tao Te Ching, #38