just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

Thinking About Wingin’?

Published on 14/10/22
by randy

I’ve seen some magazine articles touting how easy it is to learn the Wing board. I have a different opinion. I’m 72 years old and have decades of experience placing my body on a single surface board. I first started with windsurfing in 1981, kite boarding in 2001, surfing in 2011, windsurf foiling in 2014 and started with wing surfing five years ago. There’s a progression that happens as we become more proficient in any new tool. We first have to be more involved with the head, listening to others, watching videos, learning the step-by-step procedures for better riding. The term “water time” is key to understanding our progression. Today’s turnkey mentality wants rapid success. Yet, there’s a fair amount of time needed before we move from the head to the heart in our riding, and this is certainly dependent on our age. When I see what people are doing with the wing board I am humbled and recognize I am far from expert. I see youngsters who have a small fraction of the water time I have taking it to the limits I’ll never know. Yet, I may have more wisdom in what’s going on and hope to express it to you so that you have an easier time learning. When I first started to wing board I had over 30 years experience using a wing with a snowboard in the winter. The creation of the inflatable wing was a major renovation. The first year they came out there were problems, but today the rigidity and design elements have made them true works of art. Each year, just like designs in windsurf and kite boarding are forever tweaked for easier and better performance, designs in wing boarding continue to evolve at amazing progress. These innovations make it easier to surrender from the head to the heart in our riding. Just like jazz is taking the handcuffs off, fighting for freedom to move from sheet music to freeform, freedom in riding is the same. It takes the empty mind, the ‘don’t know mind’ that can surrender to the next surprise around the corner, to allow the equipment to move into new territory as it’s presented by nature. When we’re moving to the extreme, just past our level of ability, we can’t be thinking about who we are, how good we are, who’s watching us, etc. There’s a place where we move past the “subject versus object“, fully surrendered into the unfolding present moment. This moment is fresh, it’s solid from the confidence from hours, days and years of water time, it’s clear and spacious. This experience is part of our practice in deepening alignment, balance and awareness. It’s why it fits so well with yoga, meditation practices, and music. The intention is to wake up to the illusion of being separate. The intention is to become the water, the wave, the wind, the sun, the clouds…beyond any notion of who I “think“ I am. With this comes a deeper connection to nature, to others sharing the elements on the water or in the song, a deeper sense of belonging. There’s a “great fullness“ in the body. The sense of a wheel out of kilter diminishes. We cultivate that place of “no complaint no complaint“. This feeling good is so powerful and lets us know what we’re here for.  Many would say we do this as an addiction for our own selfish pleasure. For me, it’s an important part of my practice, the practice of breathing in “yes“ and breathing out “thank you”. It’s the practice of finding the gift in the given. It’s the practice of never taking things for granted and doing the hard work of deepening balance and alignment in the midst of most turbulent times. No doubt, we all experience the earthquakes of disease, injury and eventually the shedding of the body. We have the capacity to face these difficult conditions in rhythm, with harmony, and appreciation for the grace given by allowing us to “just be”.

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