The surfer and the Buddhist

When something bad happens to the surfer, he says “bummer.”
When something bad happens to the Buddhist, he says “karma.”

When something good happens to the surfer, he says “cool.”
When something good happens to the Buddhist, he says “karma.”

The surfer spends long hours looking kind of spaced out.
The Buddhist spends long hours meditating.

The surfer doesn’t own much of value beyond a surfboard.
The Buddhist also shuns the attachment of material possessions.

The surfer knows well the pleasures of good ride, but knows that each wave will end and that others will come to replace it.
The Buddhist enjoys life, but understands that it is a regenerating cyclical continuum.

The surfer likes to wear bright comfortable clothing.
The Buddhist likes to wear flowing saffron robes.

The surfer knows that all waves end in wipe-outs or disintegration.
The Buddhist knows that all life is suffering.

The surfer travels light.
One would rarely see a Buddhist with a large suitcase.

The surfer wears his hair long, because he doesn’t care about it.
The Buddhist wears his hair very short, because he doesn’t care about it.

The surfer prefers to wear flip-flops.
The Buddhist wears sandals.

The surfer sometimes likes to think that he is one with the waves.
The Buddhist believes that we are all an integral part of nature.

The surfer tries to be cool.
The Buddhist tries to live by right intention and right action.

-- Garrison Frost

(May 23, 2007)

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