Thought For The Day #1028 October 2013
Broadcast 28th of October 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol
A friend of mine recently introduced me to Kite Boarding. That’s where you have a very large kite that looks more like a parachute. And a small board that looks like a skateboard with big rubbery wheels. At first I was overwhelmed by the power of the kite. Even in light winds I’d be pulled to the ground and my arms would ache after just five minutes. But eventually I gained enough skill to stand on the board and be pulled along by the wind. I was harnessing the power of nature.
When I went on my first week-long silent meditation retreat I was similarly overwhelmed by forces beyond my control. Silence and the complete lack of distractions very quickly revealed the storms of emotion that were raging inside me. My only refuge was to go to the toilets and cry. I know that sounds awful, but it’s also how I began to master the winds of my heart. Not only did I come to realise that I could stand up in the gusts, but that I could also harness their energy to surge me along the path of life.
My kite-boarding friend has also shown me a video on Youtube of an elite Kite Surfer. That’s the same thing but out at sea. The video shows a man in stormy weather near Brighton Pier. In a feat of immense skill he rides a gust of wind that sends him sailing right over the pier. It makes me think: if such mastery of nature’s forces is possible, then to what startling uses can we put our emotional weather?