6am. Cold, grey, drizzly morning. One lone surfer. I wonder, what drives him to get up before the sun and pull on a wetsuit and plunge into the cooling sea?
He changes at the car, runs to the shore, and plunges in – no hesitation, in seconds he is paddling like mad. And for what? The surf isn’t really ‘happening’ today – in surfspeak, it’s ‘sloppy’ and the wind is ‘wrong’.
I watch and he’s up on his board catching waves and getting dumped and catching them again, paddling out again and again…
So what keeps him going? Why is he here? Same reason I am I guess. Same reason I threw off the covers this cold, wet morning at 5am when I’d rather another hour’s sleep. But something else is driving me today. And this morning the practice is just to get up and greet the day, to breathe in and out, to take in the elements. There was a moment too. A moment of Grace when there was a bubble of bliss and a ‘felt’ thought, “could heaven be any more beautiful?’
My mate wears a t-shirts that says “surfing is my religion”. When I got home I ring and ask him why he goes out. He struggles a bit to answer. “It’s fun, it’s a great thing to do. You forget about everything and you are enjoying yourself. You are by yourself and its one on one and you’re dependent on yourself. It’s you and nature. It’s a whole bundle of stuff. I can’t explain it. Sometimes on a particular wave, you think it can never get any better than this” and other times you nearly drown, I dunno, I have to do it. I can’t explain it”
I may have more in common with the surfer than i first thought…. My yoga teacher says ‘when you are tempted to press the snooze button, ask yourself will a half-hour sleep feel as good as half an hour of practice?”
So, thank you surfer dude – for your discipline and drive, and the demonstration that an experience of real Union/Bliss /Joy takes effort. And the ride is not always easy but we HAVE to do it.
Bernadette is a yoga and meditation teacher and group facilitator and has been teaching since the early 1990s. She has worked with people of all ages, from diverse backgrounds and cultures and has developed skills of serving people dealing with significant life issues. She taught community classes for children, teens, people with disabilities, the elderly, sports professionals, and also in corporate environments.
Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs. Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.
Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course. She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations. During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach. Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.