Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Finding Bliss in Chaos

Competitive surfing has radically shifted my approach to meditation and calming the mind.  It is fairly easy to sit on a mat, clear the mind and  focus on breathing. To be fully present.  But when you arrive at a surf contest, it is craziness.  Aside from the aggressive competitors,  there is often a huge bustling audience,  music blaring on  loud speakers, an announcer reeling off scores and manuevers being done, and judges picking apart your every action.  Focus become difficult, performance becomes difficult. 
   But I realized that is the greatest part about competitive surfing,  it challenges the balance. Of course it is going to be easy to quiet the mind in an empty lineup,  to live in joy on a secluded island.  But that is not reality for most of us. 
    We live in world of crazy,  and it is more important to find the joy amidst it so that even in the worst moment of your life,  you can retreat into your own serenity.   Practice is key.   When confronted an unappealing situation,  make sure the first thing you do is refocus on your breathing, on how your body feels, on the colors surrounding you.  Refocus on the basic elements.  Appreciate them.  Appreciate the craziness.  Think about the infinite galaxy of stars and our fleeting place among it.    When you return to confront the moment,  perhaps you can do so in mindful mellowness.
    The crazy isn't going anywhere, so we need to learn to embrace it and perhaps even laugh a little.