So over the past three weeks I’ve totally fallen in love with standup paddle boarding. I tried it once and was hooked. No less than a week later (and many hours of online research), a beautiful board showed up on my front door step, thanks to Mr. Internet Delivery Man.
And I’ve been paddling every day since.
I know why I love it so much too — it’s just so incredibly Zen. I’ve always loved kayaking, but there seems to be an extra hint of magic when you’re out there all on your own, standup paddling. It’s just you and the water, gently gliding over the waves, powered by nothing other than your own body and strength. There’s an absolute sense of oneness between you and your environment, and you have to work for it too.
You’re not confined to a cockpit or a seat, and as you stand on a narrow board and float across the ocean, your perspective is unlike anything else.
It’s like you’re walking on water.
You see things you’d never otherwise be able to see. You become one with the water. You become one with yourself.
Off the water, I try to make every moment as Zen as possible. Try, is the key word here though — it’s tough. Our mind wants to pull us in many different directions all at once, and it’s a challenge to silence its often overbearing noise.
But the more I meditate, the better I become at being able to calm my mind, making it easier to realize and experience moments of Zen. As I become more mindful, all of the activities I engage in seem to become more Zen as well, no matter if it’s a simple chore or even a complex task.
My goal is to realize the Zen that’s within every moment — it’s there, I just need to awaken to it.
Some things definitely do induce a more Zen-like state of mind than others, without even trying — like standup paddle boarding, walking with my dog in the forest or on the beach, taking photos, even cooking, and of course, the most obvious of them all… meditation.
What Zen-like activities do you enjoy? Perhaps it’s yoga, martial arts, running, cycling, or maybe playing an instrument?
What do you do that seems to naturally bring you into that perfect state of quietude, calm and bliss — that fully immerses you into the present moment, without any hindrance of distracted thought?