another sneak peek ~ ZEN Shredding…
March 20, 2008

The wait is killing me…

: )

here is another excerpt from my “soon to be released” book: 

ZEN Shredding; Insights, Questions and Confessions of a Meditator and Novice Snowboarder on the pursuit of dreams, inspiration, passion and change.


In the course of your life you will ask yourself many questions.  

To know where you are heading you just need to listen to the questions you are asking yourself in every moment. 

Sometimes when you ask questions you will receive a response to every situation as it occurs and other times you might need to sit with those questions, to accept the unresolved questions of your life unconditionally as part of the mystery of your life experience.   

Most of us spend our lives looking for answers and happiness outside ourselves and are never really satisfied. Many of us also ask questions that dwell only on the practical necessities of life and as a result live lives of mediocrity.  As you practice asking questions you will learn to navigate not only the mystery of your Soul but also the journey of your life. Knowing which questions to ask is part of the mystery and creative challenge of being. Some of the most important questions you can ask are:  

Who am I?

What do I want? 

Why am I here?  

These three questions will eventually merge to become one; What am I doing for others and how can I contribute more to the planet I live on?  

For many years, I could only come up with the reasons that prevented me from taking my first steps in learning how to snowboard. In my heart I could imagine what it would be like to experience the joy and freedom of sliding down the mountains, I just could never “find” the motivation or time to actually take the step. Prior to learning, I used to walk to the base of the mountain and watch the snowboarders as they shredded their way to the bottom. I’ve also been to San Diego and one of my favorite pastimes there is to go out to the end of a pier and watch the surfers as they wait patiently for the swell of a perfect wave.  

There’s something mystical and meditative about the whole process of simply being with elements of nature. There is serenity in the focused way each surfer reads the potential and possibility within the seed of an oncoming wave. We don’t have an ocean in Whistler, but we do have over 33 feet of snow a year. When you blend the backdrop of jaw dropping scenery, fresh snow and bluebird skies together a canvas of white trails provides adventure and quietude that can elevate your Soul.   

Watching those surfers and snow boarders made me long to be part of it. I’ve always intuitively felt that envy was a positive emotion, a signpost that I had stumbled on a truth that desired expression within the story of my own life experience. Eventually, this feeling became strong enough to motivate me from being an observer to becoming an active participant.  

It’s six am. I’m getting up early not only to meditate but also for some serious snowboard lessons on a Whistler/Blackcomb bunny hill. A couple of years ago I had a false start to my snowboarding adventure. One lesson combined with all too icy surfaces quenched my thirst to be short listed as the next Olympic hopeful.   

This time around it feels different; my adventure unfolds magically providing me with not only the basic skills needed for a potential lifetime of successful riding, but also a boot camp opportunity to return to many insights that have shaped the journey of my own life.  

Conventional reality suggests we live life in linear ways. We go to school, learn specific subjects, graduate, go to college and university and then we start “to live our perfect career and life”. But is this really true? It’s an affront to me that so many people are taught to muffle, ignore and deny the whispers of their own inner voice. It’s sad that many people spend large portions of their life and income denying their inner wisdom that could lead them into a lifetime of meaningful experiences filled with passion and purpose.  

While it took a couple of years for me to move past the initial judgments and fear I had around my first experience of snowboarding, the voice of desire could not be ignored. The commitment to take more lessons helped buffer the doubts and fears that had kept me paralyzed. It was an important reminder to pay attention to what called me and to nourish and cultivate the seeds of my dreams.   

As my learning journey continues in my snowboarding adventure, I often see many novice snowboarders foregoing formal lessons. If they only knew that a few simple insights, suggestions and skills could greatly influence their degree of pain or success. Practice and technique provide the skills necessary to express the unbounded creative potential we were born with.   

By choosing to take lessons based on progression, I was able to navigate my momentary experience in little chunks of challenge that had options within opportunity and clearly defined beginnings, middles and endings. While there were moments where I felt overwhelmed, the support of an instructor and the familiarity of the bunny hill allowed me to learn and play at the same time… 

ZEN Shredding is a culmination and synthesis of my ongoing “Spiritual” journey, expressed as insights, questions and vignettes, filtered through the experience I had of learning to snowboard.  It is my hope these words will inspire you to push your own boundaries, to take risks in the pursuit of your own dreams and journey of life, while also taking the time to discover Who You Are… 

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