The Wisdom of The Sea: Eternal Truths Among The Waves


“The surrounding environment is the best erudite master to teach us the fundamental laws of nature and the basics of living in life.” – Anuj Somany

“Born in the water, cries out like a child, when powerful and brilliant he wishes to enjoy heaven…” -RG VEDA. 9th Mandala, IX.

When I was a kid there was something about what was happening on land that made me feel out of place, confused, depressed, and many times lost. I cannot pinpoint exactly what it was, most likely a variety of things that didn’t make much sense to me or resonate with my heart. There was a pain and longing that pulsated throughout my entire body at times. Although I was well aware of the mental and physical sensations, my young mind didn’t have the capacity to articulate what I was experiencing. I longed for an escape from a world that felt disjointed. Childhood fantasies of flying spaceships in outer space filled my head more often then not.

My parents tell me I was drawn to the water since I was an infant, I was affectionately know as “Water-Rat”. Memory recalls me swimming in my grandparents pool just about as far back as I can remember. My family moved to the Jersey Shore when I was three years old and I soon fell in love with the ocean. Mom would take me to the beach numerous times a week each summer. On weekends my father would teach to me to brave the oncoming whitewater of the breaking waves. I would swim, splash, yell, laugh. I was simply enjoying life, and in doing so, any feelings of unease melted away. The summer sun and salty waters acted as a medicinal balm for my aching heart.

I began surfing sometime around 1986. I was 11 years old.

Once I started surfing, there wasn’t much else I wanted to do with my time. Things seemed to make sense, sitting on my board in the lineup. I felt free from whatever shackles I had perceived to have existed on land. That first summer, when I finally rode the face of a wave, I had a definitive moment. This was what I was looking for; this was what was going to save me from the utter nonsense of a typical life. Surfing was happiness and I was a “surfer”.

My life has had many ups and downs, I’ve endured what may be perceived as numerous failures, coupled with equally as many successes. Life is an ebb and flow, not unlike the rising and receding tides. The riding of the ocean waves is not only an enjoyable activity that can help you gain better understanding of yourself and your surroundings, it is also a wonderful metaphor for life. Every aspect of surfing can be related to the variety of situations we encounter in everyday life.

As much as I love surfing, it can never erase the things about humanity and the version of “life” that never jived with me. But it has given me an alternative lifestyle to what I consider collective humanity’s self-created “unreality”. Paddling out and immersing my body in the ocean depths, I feel at peace, I feel at one with what is real.

A human being unifying with nature in a lover’s dance. Swaying back and forth, side to side. The music is the wind, the seagulls overhead, the crashing breakers and the movement of the sea that caresses me.

Truth was spoken to me, from the lips of cresting waves.

Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz 


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Growing up in New Jersey, Shawn discovered and quickly immersed himself in the sub-culture of surfing and skateboarding in the mid 80’s. With a diverse and eclectic background, Shawn has walked the path of a competitive surfer, Hare Krsna monk, action sports industry player in NYC, DIY theology and religions major, and a touring punk rock musician. Now a father and self-proclaimed seeker of the “soul” of surfing, Shawn enjoys sessions with friends at uncrowded peaks along his home state’s shoreline and writing about his surf related experiences.

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