| TRIVIA | PADDLERS' PICS | SHOP | ABOUT | LINKS
SEA KAYAKING ZEN
Not all of us are fortunate enough to live close to nature.
But even if you live in a studio apartment in the heart of a major city,
many of us can find our happy place walking in the countryside
or along the seashore.
Perhaps your soul quiets when you are in the mountains or maybe
all it takes is sitting on the
grass in Central Park at lunch time. No matter where you seek solace in
the outdoors at least one of the four basic elements is at work.
For some the clean crisp mountain air is enough to quiet the mind and
bring the inner peace that so many of us seek today, while others need
the sound and feel of water, the warmth of fire or the cool solid feel
of the earth under their feet.
And the person sitting on the ground enjoying a campfire by a
rolling stream while a warm breeze rustles the leaves around them
is truly blessed indeed!
If you are reading this article I’d be willing to bet that water is the element that
really floats your boat. (Sorry couldn’t resist).
While fire and air are outwardly reaching elements reaching up and out, earth
and water turn inward and downward. Nearly all of the avid hikers and kayakers
I know are people I would describe as “down to earth” which makes sense given the
natures of the elements that attract them.
So, my down to earth friends, lets focus on water.
Water is commonly associated with the qualities of emotion.
How many times have you heard a person describe how they love to be near the water?
By “the water” they may mean the ocean or a pond, a class III river or a fountain
(have those indoor tabletop fountains grown popular or what?) but in each case they often
speak of how they are lulled into a peaceful state by the SOUND of moving water.
The point is that the just the sound of water makes many people feel great.
And the feel of being immersed in water can bring about that meditative state
of being in nature’s womb, safe, protected and totally at peace, temporarily removed
from the chaos of our daily lives.
Sea kayaking can also take us into that meditative state. By finding the flow in your stroke
not only can you tune in to the rhythmic sound of the paddle gliding through the water
but you can let you mind slip into what athletes refer to as “the zone”; being fully aware
of your surroundings but allowing your mind to reach a higher, quieter level.
You can bask in the warmth of the sun and breathe in the salty breeze as it brushes your face.
Here you can, for a while, forget about the project
looming over your head at work, the bills that need to be paid, and the kid’s demands on your energy.
This is the perfect time to allow your heart and soul the quiet repose that brings about healing,
inspiration, and joy.
Not only can this meditation on the water lift your spirits while you are in the boat
but taking a few moments to recall this blissful state of mind during a stressful time at
work the next day will also help to clear your mind and uplift your heart.
So the next time you leave the put in, take a few deep breaths and let your mind slip away
on the salty breeze and with each stroke listen to the song that the paddle and water
are singing to your soul.