Saturday, January 7, 2012

Enlightened Kayaking

As you can imagine I talk with people about kayaking frequently. A co-worker recently told me that the two most common words to leave my mouth are 'kayaking' and 'think'. Not necessarily in that order. I have mentioned before that there are really two types of kayakers in the world. The kind that know there is a correct way to paddle a kayak, and everyone else.

Most of everyone else will never know that they are in the wrong group. That there is a world of beautiful effortless kayaking out there. I thought of this as I came across one of my favorite Buddha quotes recently:

A Brahman saw the Buddha resting under a tree in meditation. 
The Brahman was impressed with the Buddha's way.
He asked, "Are you a god?"
"No, Brahman, I'm not a god."
"Are you an angel?"
"No", replied the Buddha.
"You must be a spirit then?"
"No, I'm not a spirit," said the Buddha.
"Then what are you?"
"I'm awake."

This is how I view most kayakers. The Buddha was able to see the world the way that it truly was. The Enlightened kayaker can see that as well - at least as it relates to kayaking. This is the reason that you study something, kayaking or anything else, to learn it, to know it inside and out. To be comfortable in a new environment. When you learn something new, you see how it's done, it can be like a light bulb being turned on in a dark room. The Brahman - which in Hindu is the highest caste - couldn't see the world the way the Buddha did. 

But don't take my word for it. Get in a  kayak, and seek out instruction. From myself or anyone with skill. If you are here reading this then you already have a kernel of belief that there is a better way, and there is. 

"Don't blindly believe what I say. Don't believe me because others convince you of my words. Don't believe anything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts. Don't rely on logic alone, nor speculation. Don't infer or be deceived by appearances."
"Do not give up your authority and follow blindly the will of others. This way will lead to only delusion."
"Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real. Discover that there are virtuous things and there are non-virtuous things. Once you have discovered for yourself give up the bad and embrace the good."
- The Buddha


  1. This just gave me some enlightened view about kayaking. I just love how the teachings of Buddhism can bring understanding to almost everything that you do.

  2. This is actually a great dilemma for me personally. I see the teachings of the Buddha every day in most of the things I do. Both Kayaking and non-kayaking. At the same time I don't won't to be 'the evangelist' that I hate when I am confronted by it in day to day life. I try and keep the Buddhist teachings here, and mostly focused on how it relates to kayaking. As I am putting finishing touches on 'the paddling otaku book' there is more Buddhism there than even here on the blog. It is something I am aware of.

    Thanks for the comment,