The Spiritual Power of Surfing


The power of surfing captures a lone human being aboard a thin sheet of fibreglass, being propelled by the massive force of the ocean. It involves strength, balance and a centredness that is rarely required in other pursuits. For some, the surfing experience is akin to a spiritual one, as they profess to be transported to another place or dimension. It has been said that the brief moments that the surfer is atop, or within a wave, are timeless, in the experience of that surfer. There is the sound of the ocean, the surge and the crashing of the waves. Tim Winton has described the swelling ocean better than most modern writers since Herman Melville did in his Moby Dick.

The dynamic of human being and ocean, not necessarily pitted against one another, but working in harmony with one another is a powerful one. The fact that we as human beings cannot breathe underwater injects a special intensity into this relationship. It makes our sense of balance even more important; especially on big waves. Even those of us who have never quite managed to stand up on a wave, may have experienced being dumped whilst body surfing and know the terror. When one is forcibly submerged and turned again and again, as if in a washing machine, beneath metres of surging water it can be a terrifying experience.

The Spiritual Power of Surfing

I think, it is this death-defying and, quite possibly, death embracing aspect of surfing, which imbues it with a spiritual power. Facing one’s death, or fear of death, is often a highly stimulating activity for the human being. For some, it is regenerative; and this may contribute to the addictive quality that surfing has for many of its adherents. The lone surfer paddling out on a break with only the expanse of nature all around him. The enormity of the sky combined with the seemingly infinite nature of the ocean; and the solo spirit doing battle with the great Poseidon. It is exhilarating stuff; and a cleansing break from the moral turpitude of modern life.

Surfing remains one of those few pioneer activities that are still accessible for those who live in places, and in lives, able to take advantage of it. It is a meditation, an active meditation, which demands total physical concentration and presence of ???? (mind, soul, the watcher state). The massive beast of a wave beneath the surfer, propelling him, or her, at the whim of nature, and the surfer dallies on the edge hoping to ride like there is no tomorrow without paying the ultimate price. Then, there is reflection and contemplation. After the storm there is a sense of purity, and a place within that echoes with magic.


About sudhahamilton

Sudha Hamilton is the publisher of Eco Living Magazine He loves writing and reading about the things that matter. Working predominantly as natural health writer, he has been published in WellBeing, Conscious Living, and Eco Living Magazines. Having spent many years on a spiritual path, originally in the company of Osho, he has an abiding interest in the human condition. From the micro to the macro he seeks to understand the truth that lies beneath the artifice and constructs, which daily delude us all.

Posted on May 9, 2016, in Eco Living. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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