How to Learn How to Surf.

January 9, 2021

How to Learn How to Surf.

May 29, 2023

Oh, how I wish I could be a BuSu: a Buddhist Surfer. One basic tenet of Buddhism is that comparison equals suffering. I realized this is why I took to meditation in my twenties, but yoga eluded me. I meditate with my eyes closed so I don’t compare how I’m doing with everyone else, but put me in a yoga class with a bunch of able, limber bodies and I become “Conley, the critic”...not of them, of me.

My workaround on this has been one-on-one classes with Teddi, our MEA mindfulness teacher. Without the compare and contrast mindset, I sink into my internal experience of yoga, which is, on occasion, to use a Teddi word, “juicy.”

Of course, on a surfboard in the blue sea, I am anything but juicy. Not only do I compare and contrast, but I am constantly in the way of seasoned veterans, “stealing their waves” with my own ineptitude (or my inability to even make a move to surf). That never plays well in town, especially when there is always an eyeful of spectators watching your every move (never a problem in yoga as there’s no one spectating in the stands).

So, it is inevitable that I often am left criticizing myself for how pitiful I am at surfing, or my unwillingness to try. You see, I am not a surfer. I only wish I was. The truth is, I’m doing nothing to earn that label these days. And as any English teacher will tell you, you can’t be the noun if you don’t do the verb.

Of course, that was all before I was turned onto this hellaciously fun video on How to Learn How to Surf. Mind you, it’s not “How to Surf.” It’s How to Learn How to Surf.

Maybe I’ll dust off my board. After nearly a year of not trying to catch a wave, I feel inspired to give it a go—to actually surf.

There are many lessons here, but the one I’ll leave you with is this. YouTube is your learning concierge. And, when you want to learn something new, search for a video that doesn’t just teach you how to do it. Search for a video that teaches you how to learn to do it.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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