Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saltwater Buddha

Surfing and our relationship with it can provide
amazing life lessons.  Those of you who are regular
(or irregular) readers know that looking for and finding
those lessons is a passion for me.  Seems I'm not the only

Just finished reading Jaimal Yogi's book Saltwater Buddha:
A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea".  It's a good read
for sure.  Jaimal chronicles his journey's as he attempts to
run and escape certain aspects of life, learn and live in Zen
retreats, and become a surfer.  Becoming a surfer is different
than learning to surf. One is a lifestyle and philosophy, the 
other a sportlike pastime.

Saltwater Buddha is the kind of book that contains little
pearls here and there. Lessons from an observer who becomes
a participant.  That's always a good thing to do in life, jump
in participate rather than always observe from the sidelines.
What are you watching from the sidelines that you really should
be doing?

Friday, May 22, 2009


I never seem to tire of hearing clients tell
me how they have learned lessons from their
experiences in the surf.  It is amazing how surfing 
and the ocean can present us with important
insights into ourselves.

A young client of mine recently told me 
he'd discovered that when surfing he
frequently finds himself pulling back, hesitating
when finds himself at the ledge, especially on steep
waves.  " I never seem ready to push
myself over, to take that last stroke and drop in.
It looks too steep... I feel afraid,  doubt myself,  and end up
going over the falls...You know, I think
I do that a lot in my life too" he said almost as a sidebar.
" I never get barreled" he added.  I could almost
see the light bulb go on in his head.

Pulling back when you should go for it based on fear
can prevent us all from achieving our life's goals and our
own dreams.  How do you pull back?  How has hesitation
kept you from the barrel? From the joy of the tube?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A car filled with bottlecaps

Do you have any idea what over 50,000 bottle caps
look like?  Right now, after a winter's worth of
collecting, there are 17 large, clear trash bags filled
with bottle caps filling my Honda Element.  We
counted the caps in 1 bag and realized that there
were about 3,000.  The 50,000 or so caps
in my car are going to "meet up" with the collections
of others.  I'm excited, afraid, and a bit disgusted when
I try to imagine just how many caps I'll see all in 1 place.

Clean Ocean Action is a New Jersey based non-profit that
for decades has been doing great work.  COA and it's members
have labored long and hard to educate, lobby, protest, and help
bring light on the issues related to "our mother ocean".  Today
they are having a big beach party to help further fund the good
work they do.  One of the highlights of the event will be the
gathering of the bottle caps.  I hope this overwhelming collection
can serve to illustrate the nature of our impact, the thoughtlessness
of our actions, the needlessness of our country's plastic addiction.

Everything you and I do has a significant impact on our oceans and
our planet.  Please stop thoughtlessly using plastic.  Check out the
Rise Above Plastics web site, look at the movie Synthetic Sea, lobby
your local and state officials.  We all must act to stop the insanity
that is our use of plastics. 

Next time you go to the beach look around at the plastic on
the beach.  Next time you surf look at the plastic in the water.
Next time you snorkel look at the mess we have made.  We made
this mess, we can stop messing up and take steps to clean it up.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making the match

I love putting people together.  It is a real
good feeling when I can help make connections
that work.  Today was such a day and I've been
smiling all afternoon.

Jon is a friend and fellow dog walker with surfing
roots in both North County San Diego and Montauk,
NY.  He rides and values boards shaped by the masters.
He's got killer boards from both Donald Takayama and
Toby Pavel.  You know, the kind of boards that you stop
to admire and seem compelled to hold imagining how they
might feel on a wave.  

Scott, aka "the Mopper", is the kind of surfer whose smooth
understated style gets attention both here in NJ and in
Rincon PR where he spends his winters.  He is equally
comfortable and owns boards for  2 foot mushburgers
and  macking 20 foot Tres Palmas.  Scott also has an
amazing collection of vintage boards some so rare that
even the Surfing Heritage Foundation has been coveting
one or two.

Jon was telling me about a 9'0" Pavel gun that he had made for
Todos Santos but has never ridden.  It was an aqua colored 
beauty.  Not too many people here in NJ can  truly appreciate
or ride that board or the waves it was intended for.  Scott needed
to replace a favorite big wave gun since breaking his beloved 9
footers this winter at Tres.  "Jon this is Scott, Scott this is Jon" I
said knowing that they'd be stoked to meet and talk story.  Of
course I knew that Jon's Pavel was right up Scott's alley.  That's
all it took to make 2 friends happy, to connect 2 great guys, to make
the match.  Made my day!