Saltwater Buddha - Foreword

A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea

Prologue

The ocean is in constant flux, and when you spend a lot of time in it you become like a floating bottle with a message inside; you know you’re going somewhere, sense you have a purpose, but you also know you’re at the mercy of the winds and currents, that surrendering may be your only good option.

Lately I’ve been surfing a lot. And there’s something different about the saltwater life. One becomes floppy, like seaweed, while at the same time agile, like an eel. One becomes, I suppose, more like water itself.

The Tao Te Ching says, “Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it. They have no way to change it.”

This is a book in praise of water. On its surface, it is a series of short stories about my encounters with the sea and Zen practice. But underneath, it’s just a homily about water—to that which sustains life.

I am no expert on Zen, and certainly no expert surfer. But I have an ongoing love affair with the ocean, which, through years of meditation, I have come to view through what might be called Zen-colored glasses. If I have a message inside this empty vessel— if it hasn’t been completely dissolved by the saltwater leaking in—this book is it. May the winds blow it to shores where it will be useful.

 

How to cite this document:
© Jaimal Yogis, Saltwater Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2009)

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