Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wisdom From the Acient Masters of Alt.Skate-Board (Part 3)

Thoai Tran wrote 14 installments of Zen and Skateboarding. Here is Part 3. See introductory comments I wrote on this post for full context. Part 3, below, is one of my personal favorites that Tran wrote. 

Part Three: Flowing Stream

Master Ch'an visited a skatespot where skaters from the area came and performed their art. On that day, a local skater was doing long 50-50 grinds on a waxed ledge. Master Ch'an applauded after each time the skater came off the ledge. This was rather unusual for the skater, who had never been applauded for doing a regular 50-50 grind. After the skate session had ended, the skater approached Master Ch'an and asked:

" You applauded whenever I did 50-50 grinds on this ledge. Why did you find this trick worthy to be applauded, when, in fact, there are so many other tricks which are more difficult and complicated than that? A 50-50 grind is simple, plain...it is not even beautiful! I can show you the other tricks right now, then you will be truly impressed!"

Master Ch'an replied:

" How can something so small and insignificant be so important in the whole scheme of things? Look at this rock that I am holding...it is indeed plain and simple. It has no monetary worth, and not too many people will find this beautiful. But if I were to throw it into a flowing stream, this small and insignificant rock would change that stream completely and forever. It would change the way the stream flowed by adding a new source of turbulence and displacing millions of water molecules to travel in different directions. Indeed, the stream would forever be different with this rock in it..."

" Like a rock that is so essential for making the stream the way it is, your skateboard is an essential part of you. It is part of your body and soul...it becomes incorporated into your being. Indeed, many skaters have noted how their board doesn't seem at all like a separate entity when they skate. This is completely true because your soul absorbs your board completely, making its reality one with yours. You are one with your skateboard..."

" And like the stream that continue to flow despite having an external rock placed into it, your skating must also flow continuosly, despite having a board placed beneath your feet. Tricks should be landed smoothly and consistently to maintain this everlasting flow. A 50-50 grind, simple as it may be, is a reflection of the stream within you, the reality that is everlasting and infinite...it is beautiful. Therefore, my friend, if you land a new trick that you had spent many hours practicing, remember to do it again and again, until it perfect...until you are at a point where you can do it anytime, anywhere. The stream continues to flow whether it is in the woods or in the open, whether it is during the daytime or night-time. Remember my friend, when you go skating, don't be dependent on others to decide what is cool and what is not. You should skate to satisfy your own thirst for absolute perfection. Surely a stream won't change its course of direction or stop flowing because there are people standing nearby. So you too must not change your skating when other skaters are around you..."

" My friend, when you realize this, your skating will become a stream that flows to absolute perfection..."

So spoke Master Ch'an.

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