The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saltwater Buddha

Been away from the blog for so long, and in that time, many waves have washed ashore!
Traveled out to California (Saratoga & San Francisco) for 8 days for some much needed R&R with West Coast family--and finally met my cousin's 9 month old twins, beautiful Malia and Nathan.  The babies are pure sunshine.
Spent time with my daughter and her companion in their new home, ate amazing wholesome foods, practiced yoga, walked through Muir Woods on the 4th of July (ahead of the crowd!), visited the Andy Goldsworthy sculpture in the Presidio, went out to Ocean Beach after the sun went down to watch the surf casters reeling in striped bass, and colored in my sketchbook between activities. 
Finally, 2 days before my East Coast return, I was asked to moderate the Spirituality Book Talk at the Harrisburg Borders.  
And what was the book?
Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest To Find Zen On The Sea, by Jaimal Yogis.
San Francisco has some great independent booksellers, so Saltwater Buddha was easy to find--in fact, it turned out Jaimal Yogis, is a San Francisco resident and lives right down the street from Ocean Beach, where he can walk out his front door any day of the year and catch a wave.
Lucky Boy.
Saltwater Buddha turned out to be lots of fun to read, easy and unassuming, with much humility and good humor.  Keeping the essential Beginner's Mind at heart, Jaimal dives headlong into the deep end, and takes us along for the Hero's Journey.
It's not necessary to be surfer or a Buddhist to enjoy the book--we were all 15 years old once upon a time, and that's where Jaimal's journey begins.  
And look into his website and blog at  It's fun, and a breath of fresh sea breeze!
Back in land locked PA, it was gratifying to read Jaimal's book, and then open a discussion around the drama of searching for identity, only to realize one's identity is nothing more than a wave on the ocean--releasing the grip of ego self to realized the true self, our Buddha Nature is always there before us, whether we ride waves, work in the garden, care for our communities, wash lettuce for a salad or sit in zazen.
As Dogen said, Meditation is realization, here is our enlightenment right here.
Thank You Master Dogen, thank you Master Jaimal!

The next book talk, sponsored by Blue Mountain Lotus Society, will be Monday August 10, 7pm, at Harrisburg Borders.  The book discussed will be Being With Dying, by Roshi Joan Halifax. 

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