Yesterday, I shared my serendipitous encounter where I met a group of Gyuto Monks from Tibet at my local beach in sunny Australia, not far from Sydney.
Today, I wanted to share a few more photos and delve further into what the monks are about and why they’re in Australia.
Photo: Rowena Curtin
After all, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably need to have the details pointed out to i.e these monks wear the the same robes as the esteemed Dalai Lama and “are masters of Tibetan Buddhist tantric ritual and their lives are dedicated to practicing tantric ideals. To be with them, to observe and be touched by their humanity, is to see kindness in action.”
That said, I have read and posted about The Pursuit of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard Carter in addition to yesterday’s post: Accidents, Blessings & Tibetan Monks at an Australian Beach.
Much of this is beyond my understanding and experience but I strive to place love, compassion and empathy at the centre of my life…values which are lived and breathed by the Holy men.
At one with the wave. Photo Rowena Newton at Wamberal, NSW.
I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of surfing as a spiritual activity before but it has to be. Obviously, surfing is intimately connected with the ocean, the waves and nature and being close to the ocean always makes me feeling closer to God, feeling his wonder, majesty and spirit all around me. It blows me away. After all, God occupies our entire universe and isn’t shut inside a building.
In an interview with Australian Surf Champion Nick Carroll, broadcaster Caroline Jones asked: “Is there something about the moment when you’re absolutely concentrated there on what’s happening, that is, a feeling that as well as being frightening, a moment of great peace, or joy or something very extraordinary?
He replied: “Yes, surely.If you want to put it into a religious framework, Eastern religions deal with moments like that better than what we consider are usual forms of religion because they do deal with cathartic moments. The Zen Buddhists deal with them very well. You get moments where your whole body, soul and mind are just concentrated on doing something in the surf. When it’s very big and you catch a wave and take off there’s usually, on a big wave in Hawaii, several seconds during that wave where you really throw yourself over the brink, you really have to forget about everything, totally, to make it. You have to forget about trying to do something, you have to just get up, trust your instinct and just fall into the wave. It’s during seconds like that that you seem to just totally disappear, you as a being don’t exist at that moment. It’ hard to express, you throw yourself into the moment that you’re actually inside everything that’s happening, you’re inside the wave, you’re inside your surfboard and what it’s doing. You’re inside all the landscape around you and the ocean as it’s surging, you get totally inside the moment and it’s so intense that time disappears, everything disappears. You disappear, you’re not thinking of you Nick Carroll or whoever. It’s way beyond that.
If you’re going to make a very big wave you have to be totally unified with everything that’s happeneing. You have to know absolutely everything the board’s doing, what’s happening with the wave, where the water is on the wave, how fast the water’s moving up the face of the wave, what’s happening with the wind, where there might be a couple of people in the way, and I don’t think you can know about that if you choose to take the form of thinking that we do in our everyday lives, where I’m very aware of me, Nick Carroll. Your brain just can’t handle it, it has to throw stuff away to fit it all in. And so a lot of what it throws away is the useless stuff, the ego, the “I’m Nick Carroll, I’ve got fears, worries, doubts etc”___all very useless stuff. To take all that information in about what’s happening, to get right inside it, you have to ignore a lot and discard it.2.”
I experience this myself through my writing, photography and also through playing the violin. I know that sense of merging and oneness and it’s incredible.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed riding the wave with the Tibetan Monks of Gyuta, even if it was only from the shore. Unfortunately, we left before they hit the waves…not in their robes but in the safety of board shorts and life vest.
To view TV coverage of the event and of the monks surfing: http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2016/10/05/surfing-monks-create-waves-in-umina/
Have you have any experiences with the Dalai Lama of the Tibetan Monks of Gyuta? I would love to hear your experiences and how you felt.
Hopefully some of his calm brushed off on me.
- About the Gyuto Monks of Tibet in Australia
2. Caroline Jones, The Search for Meaning, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1989 p. 56.