All Our Waves are Water

 A very different book, All Our Waves Are Water. 

Journalist-biographer-resident surfer, and guru, 
 Jaimal Yogis (he might shudder to be referred to as "guru", a modest man) is on a quest. Jaimal takes his mind's-eye with him, his awareness, and ramps it up, as he journeys through life, a search for his best self, and more than that, he's running away from a bad break up. It is a physical journey, and an inward trip, too. 

Having one parent of Jewish ancestry but raised in a Buddhist tradition, it is no surprise that a stream of guilt is laced into the words of this delicious biography. I look forward to reading his other book, Saltwater Buddha.
All Our Waves Are Water

All Our Waves Are Water might be a metaphor, but is probably what every surfer is feeling while finding his way in the ocean. There is an attachment to water, detachment from all else, as it must be, because anything else, and down you go. Fall off the board, hit a reef, good for no one. So unconsciously, unknowingly, every surfer is something of a Buddhist surfer, at one with the water. It may the same with skiers like Kristen Ulmer, who wrote the thought-provoking Art of Fear. (I was a little hard on her in the review, but she's totally got a point, even if it isn't new, that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Skiers, back to the point, are at one with the snow. 

Not so different from swimmers. In my imagination, we swimmers all share the wondrous feeling of weightlessness in water, the unbearable lightness that our heavy human bodies attain, floating (or riding) atop of it. 

Unless you have flying dreams, there's no better way to feel it, save becoming practiced at meditation, which takes years. But swimming is easy, and relatively cheap, as surfing must be, excepting the occasional payout for a new board, or neoprene shirt, or trip to Thailand or Hawaii. (We'll talk). 

So I relate to Jaimal because he is surfer, and as a woman who makes it her business to find a pool, be it salt or chlorine, finding a swim, common knowledge, isn't hard to manage. Unless the pool is closed for some reason, which can be infuriating, which may or may not be  Zen-like, depending upon your master. More than likely, anger is tolerated, even encouraged, also good. Jaimal's best friend, a Bali monk, about a depressive episode: This too, good.   

All Our Waves Are Water, aside from being about the oneness between our bodies, mostly water, and all of the water in the sea, the ski, also promises words about enlightenment, and who doesn't want to explore enlightenment? Even if it only to quiet us down, meditation is the cheapest form of bio-feedback around.  

It is a quest for enlightenment, a search for the ultimate answers to consciousness, awareness, our very existence. Some of us live vicariously, we read about these things in books, we even pray, too, hoping to connect to something higher than ourselves, or use meditation apps like HeadSpace, or videos. (Have we talked about the F-that Meditation video? Not for everyone, but it had this therapist laughing.) 

We talk about it, achieving serenity, but Jaimal walks the literal walk, travels the miles, to find his answers. We'll like this author because he's not a rigid guy, or even particularly messed up. The journey, as most trips go (just wait for this weekend's trek to see the eclipse in totality) is stop start. Find one master, switch gears, work an internship for school, meditate on the fly, get on a plane, find another master. Start the journey, fall off course, get back on, lose focus, find it again. And relationships will be at the core of everything, learning and love. Being in contact, attached to people, loving them is very much what enlightenment must be about.

And always, always, look for the next wave. The metaphors about water, waves,  bring meditation into the non-meditator's world, the world beyond introspection, more accessible than repeating a mantra. We each have a zen as we walk, run, surf through life.  

Nice worldview.

Wise, too, in knowing what all yogis and scientists know, too, that everything is dying, the moment is gone before we're aware that it ever was. There is no true present, it is only a line between the past and the future, like that line on the horizon that doesn't exist (I heard that part on an NPR Ted talk, Shifting Time.)

Being here now means being between yesterday and tomorrow, which is impossible, so meditate on that.

If you liked Eat, Pray and Love, you’ll like All Our Waves Are Water.

A winner. Take Jaimal to the beach with you. Watch the waves.



trish said…
I love that books like this bridge, as you mentioned, the non-meditator into the meditation world. Because as you said, we each have a zen as we walk, run, surf through life. We can find those periods of enlightenment in various activities that we do (hopefully) daily.

Thank you for being on this tour!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour!

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