Surfing the Waves

The lake a couple of blocks from our house provides year-round delight. Whether we merely step onto the boardwalk and then return home or stay with chairs and a cooler, there is endless entertainment: a large bearded man who just buoys in deep water; children swimming out to the floating platform; the boaters and bathers and water skiers.


In the absence of humans, wildlife never fails to amuse. One thing we notice is how ducks deal with the waves caused by wind or watercraft. They just bob along. Effortlessly, they "go with the flow" and do not make things complicated or worse. Intuitive readers can see where I'm going.


Thich Nhath Hanh often said, “A true practitioner isn’t someone who doesn’t suffer, but someone who knows how to handle their suffering.” We could say that the measure of our success is not that our life has no ups and downs, but that we can surf the waves!


Rather than resisting what is (when we can't alter it peacefully), then float. Keep your head above water. Bob. Maintain your balance. Why make things complicated or worse by creating more waves- outside and interiorly?


If external circumstances are powerful enough to change what is happening inside of us, we need to strengthen our moorings, fortify our docks, reinforce our harbor. As I said in last Monday's short instruction during our Mindfulness Mondays series, no one else is going to do that work for you. What are you waiting for?


Back in the 1930s, Reinhold Niebuhr wrote (and often quoted by those in recovery):


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference


Join us on Zoom for free half-hour Mindfulness teaching on Mondays. At 6PM (EST) we will have 30 minutes of observing and letting go. You deserve this!