Stand Up Paddle Boarding For Mindfulness

Stand Up Paddle Boarding For Mindfulness

Life is stressful and it’s so easy to lose sight and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of fast living. Everything we do can have such an impact on our stress levels and it can affect us in ways we don’t know or understand. You should never underestimate the effects stress can have on your body and your mind.

A few years ago I was constantly stressed. I was stressed about my finances, about my life and about my future. I was too busy panicking about the future that I completely forgot to live in the present. I missed so many opportunities, moments and memories, because I let stress about my future life dictate my present life. A friend told me that she had been on a mindfulness course to help her let go of her stress. And it worked. She looked more serene than I had ever seen her before. I figured if it worked for her I should try it too.

Mindfulness is all about enlightenment, and being aware of the present. I use a combination of yoga, meditation and activities to help me become mindful. I also wouldn’t describe it as a goal. There is no definitive end result, or accomplishment. It’s a journey to enlightenment, and it takes all of your life. I am constantly reminding myself that I need to use the techniques to help me be mindful, especially when there’s a major life event coming, or something really stressful and unexpected.

I try to mediate, and do some yoga in the morning, which does help set me up for the day, but the long weekends and evenings were and are a bit of a problem for me. This is when I’m most likely to fall into my old habits of stress, worry, panic, and feeling like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders because I missed an email or phone call. I knew I needed to do something to remind myself at these times what being mindful meant, and what life was really about.

Someone told me about how they were really into stand up paddle boarding. It was a great activity for keeping fit, and seeing the world from a whole new perspective. I found the video below on Youtube.com and I thought I’d give paddle boarding mindfulness a try because it looked like it could be a fantastic way for me to keep being mindful. I couldn’t have been more right.

Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most things I have ever tried in my life. It was amazing. I rounded up a few friends and encouraged them to come with me, and we had the best day. We found and instructor who taught us the basics of paddle boarding, how to stand up, how to steer, how to ride the waves, and as I learned, I realized that so much of what he was saying could be applied to mindfulness too.

When you paddle board, you don’t look down. You watch the horizon. I realized that the same is true for mindfulness. The minute details aren’t important. It’s the big picture and the moment that are important.

I needed to learn to adapt to the wave. I needed to use my core strength, but adapt it to ride out the wave. I need to apply this in every day life as well. I need to be mindful of adapting to the situation as it happens. I couldn’t anticipate what it would be like to ride one particular wave until I was doing it, and I can’t anticipate every situation in my life until it’s happening.

I was so very nervous on my first try that most of the time I’d hold my breath. I didn’t realize that I was doing it until one of my friends told me. I took some deep breaths and relaxed. Once I had relaxed, I found myself looking around at the scenery, and how picturesque it was, listening to my friends laughter, and living in the moment.

I’ve been paddle boarding a few more times since then, and I have been getting better. I’m not going to be trying yoga on a paddle board just yet like others can, but I am improving. Every time I go it has the same effect on me. It reminds me that the things I spend the week worrying and stressing out about just aren’t that important. And that I find spirituality, mindfulness, serenity and calm in living in the moment, enjoying the view and forgetting the minutiae. I know I need to remind myself to be mindful, but paddle boarding in the sun on beautiful water, looking at the most stunning imagery nature has to offer, it absolutely helps.

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Mindfulness Quotes

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment

To me, this quote from Buddha is so important to remember especially for people who are still suck in the past or worried about what might happen in the future. It simply teaches us that what should matter the most is the present as there is nothing that we could do to get back to the past and what may happen in the future is out of our control.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.

The message being conveyed in this quote is also about being in the present moment. You should not be worrying too much about what is already done or what is about to happen as there is beauty in the present, you just have to be attentive in order to appreciate it.

Mindfulness isn't difficult. We just need to remember to do it.

In this quote, Sharon Salzberg reminds us that there is no difficulty in achieving mindfulness. All we just have to do is remember it and keep our minds to it.

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Three Steps to Achieve Enlightenment

Three Steps to Achieve Enlightenment

Once you’ve achieved Enlightenment, you can see through everything. Enlightenment is incredible. It is not easy to go towards enlightenment but there are easy 3 steps. On the surface it looks like easy but it may be difficult to follow.

1. Vision

First, let me repeat in sanskrit “samyak darshan jnaana charitraani moksha margah”. 3 jewels or 3 steps.

First is samyak darshan. Darshan means vision, to see, if you can see the things as they are and you don’t put yourself in between those things. If the things are white, just see them white. If the things are black, see them black. If your vision is clear or right, it means you are not deluded at all. Illusion goes away. As soon as you gain the samyak darshan, right vision. Unfortunately in Jain religion, it is mistranslated. They say samyak darshan means right faith. And faith means religion. It doesn’t make any sense. But if you have right vision, you will see things as they are.

If you don’t, and if you are not in the middle, you will see things as they are and that will make your path very easy towards enlightenment or towards moksha. It is the same thing. Moksha is liberation. Once you enter and achieve enlightenment that is your last life. And then you enter into liberation, moksha.

So right vision is very important. You have to take away all the curtains of illusions, curtain of hate, curtain of jealousy, curtain of negativities, curtain of angers… Then your vision becomes clear. And your vision becomes samyak, which means right. As it is.

If you follow this step, it is very easy step, clear your vision. Don’t take it literally. Get the figurative meaning. See it as it is. The things. Black as black. White as white. You are not in the middle at all.

2. Knowledge

Second is samyak jnaana. Samyak jnaana is knowledge. Usually people translate jnaana as knowledge and when it becomes jnaana – samyak – it becomes totally different in meaning.

Samyak jnaana means the right way of knowing. If you know things, maybe you know wrong way, maybe you know lot of things, but you don’t know things right way. If you have the second step, right knowing, if you know the right way of knowing then you don’t need to collect a lot of information. Otherwise, you keep collecting trillions of information. Between you and a robot or computer is no big difference. And remember computer never gets liberation. Computer never get enlightenment because it doesn’t have the knowing power, but it has information.

So I will suggest to you that when you collect a lot of information that is also knowledge, you don’t get trapped. The people who had mistranslated this samyak jnaana – right knowledge – do not know anything about it. And right knowledge for them is information and it doesn’t lead you toward enlightenment. Right knowing leads you towards enlightenment. Right knowledge for them is like a computer information. Right knowledge for them is like you collect all the information and you become scholar.

And remember scholars have difficulty to get enlightenment. Why? Because they get stuck into knowledge. They don’t get stuck into knowing. And as soon as you get stuck into knowledge it creates big ego and that is a hindrance. So as soon as you get the right knowing, your illusion, your ego, it fades away. It goes away. It dissolves by itself.

That is the way, you need right knowing. And right knowing is the very nature of the soul. The right knowing, right knowing comes from inside. Once your soul is awakened, knowing is infinite. It is very deep into your soul. Your soul is full of knowing, not full of knowledge. As soon as you get the right knowing, that is the second easy step. So once are knowing, all the information comes from you by itself. Flows from the depth of your soul. That is knowing. And it is never ending. Soul has infinite knowing.

3. Character

The third step is very complicated, but it is easy. They call it samyak charitra. They consider Charitra character. Character or conduct only. And most people get stuck right character or right conduct, which just means that you follow celibacy or you follow like if you are married man, married lady, you have loyalty towards your partner. That is the samyak charitra. They translated only that much.

But it is the very deep meaning of the charitra. Charitra includes a lot of other things. It includes your habits, if you have bad habits, you have to watch about your bad habits. If you have wrong behavior, you have to correct your behavior. Charitra includes your behavior, your habits, or your habits of eating, your habits of speaking, your habits of talking, your habits of how you behave with other people in the society.

Your behavior includes lot of other things. It also includes your habits, your ways of living in the society. If you can get this straightened out, it becomes your right conduct.

So these are the three easy steps. If you follow all of this you are well on your journey towards enlightenment. I cannot guarantee what you will reach it in this life, but you will reach something, that is for sure. It is not important what you reach in this life or next life as long as you reach. That is what counts. So, follow the three steps.

They are easy steps but you have to try to understand them in detail and you will not be far away from enlightenment. Jai Siddhatma.

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Heal Your Mind, Body, and Soul Through Paddle Boarding

Heal Your Mind, Body, and Soul Through Paddle Boarding

No one is arguing the benefits of meditation. The statistics for the benefits of meditation are overwhelming. Places like project meditation are filled with these figures.

120% increase in productivity

A simple test conducted in a Detroit chemical plant displays this perfectly. After three years of including meditation in their routine the plant found that worker productivity rose 120%, injuries fell by 70%, and profits saw an impressive increase of 520%. That doesn’t even begin to cover the numerous life-saving health benefits such as a greatly reduced risk of a heart attack.

In essence, those knowledgeable in the field of meditation will tell you that meditation is when the mind, body, and surroundings become one. They will tell you that meditation isn’t an act, but instead it returning to your natural state. That meditation was there all along. There’s some stigma towards it and a big uphill battle when you first try meditation. Paddle boarding fixes all of that.

Paddleboarding can be a gateway to meditation

If you have troubles and know meditation is what you need but find that it’s a difficult thing to get into, then you need to go buy a paddleboard now. You can heal your mind with paddle boarding. It allows you to enter that state of being where your mind, body, and surroundings are one. If you can subdue that natural excitement and just relish in the wonder of your situation while you are SUP’ing (stand up paddle boarding) you will find yourself in meditation.

Yoga experts like Tamara Jacobi have pointed out the several similarities between their practice and paddle boarding. She even goes a step further to say that it connects her to her mind and body in a more beautiful and deeper way than she ever could with simple yoga poses. It is impossible to disagree with her if you have experienced this.

Originally I was interested in paddle boarding because I am interested in watersports and nature excursions. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of paddle boarding. Even before I learned about the many meditative benefits paddle boarding has on the mind and spirit, I noticed there was something special about doing it. It feels amazing. It’s constant bliss. It’s the feeling of reaching the summit from a long hike and relishing in the amazing view you earned.

Increases focus

That feeling. That amazing joyfulness. That’s meditation. It does wonders for you. It makes you a better, nicer, and more focused human being. It crushes your stress and endorphins fizz throughout your system. This is paired well with the fact that paddle boarding is actually great exercise too. It’s an effective way to stay lean. People overlook this often because they are caught in a deep Zen-like moment.

Whether you’re in need of alleviating a poor condition or simply adding to your already fruitful life, paddle boarding is something you should consider. The effects go beyond healing your mind and improving your body. It can actually synchronize the two and help you find more peace in life.

SUP’s up my brothers and sisters.

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Reaching Enlightenment – The Easiest Thing in the World?

Reaching Enlightenment – The Easiest Thing in the World?

I was recently listening to a Q&A session with Zen Master Dae Kwang and I was enchanted by the simplicity of his message regarding the quest for enlightenment. I’ve included most of his answer below.

Q: How do I know if I’ve reached enlightenment?

The more you can detach from your thoughts, the more you believe in what you truly are

 

Zen means keeping this before thinking mind. What we call “don’t know” mind. But this is not to say no thinking. It means don’t attach to thinking. Then the more you can detach from your thoughts, the more you believe in what you truly are.

In fact, I have this theory that human beings usually get enlightenment about 500 times a day. This is my stupid theory. So, we give everybody one-time enlightenment one time for sure today. Think of a loud bang sound. Everybody can hear it. You don’t have to study the sutra to hear the sound. You didn’t have to go to university to hear that sound. You didn’t have to have a new iPhone to hear that sound. You didn’t have to be a man or woman or bird or human being Even the ‘bihu’ (gecko) at the corner heard that sound.

So that means already you let go of your dream for just a second. So my teacher always said, if you let go of your thinking for just one second. Then you are a one second Buddha. If you let go of your thinking for 2 seconds, then you are a 2 seconds Buddha. 3 seconds, you are 3 seconds Buddha. What that means always, let go just now.

So, don’t worry about getting enlightenment or not getting enlightenment. Most important is: Wake up! Just Now. So when you are chanting the Diamond sutra, just chant. When you are sitting, just sit. When you are eating, just eat. When you are riding on the metro, just ride on the metro. Enlightenment is not special. That means. Just let go. Just Now.

We call that “don’t know”. Don’t know means don’t attach to thinking. Actually, the simplest thing in the world is getting enlightenment. You just think it is complicated, so you never get it. That is just thinking. Let go of your thinking then, and that is it. It is not complicated. That is why the Buddha said, in the Diamond Sutra, “nothing marks a Buddha”. Like the Buddha has no characteristic.

He also stated that there is no formula for getting enlightenment. That means enlightenment does not depend on technique. The technique is just pointing to the true self. All of these come from the fact that you are already it. You just don’t believe it. He said everybody has it, but most people don’t know it, and they don’t understand it. So, Wake up. Just Now. That is all!

It is very simple. Thinking Thinking Thinking. Very complicated.

 

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Mindful Paddle Boarding in Hawaii

This video from SUP Daydreams is a blissful minute of paddle boarding and yoga set in the peaceful climate of Hawaii. I’d love to start every day with something so gorgeous and soothing for the body and mind.

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