Thoai Tran wrote 14 installments of Zen and Skateboarding. Here is Part 7. See introductory comments I wrote on this post for full context of the entire series.
Part Seven: Reflection
I have looked at this old dusty mirror for many years now. Its dullness has distorted my view of reality, causing me to see things differently, to convince myself that I am looking at the truth; when, in fact, I have seen nothing but false delusions. I have been deluded for too long now, and it is time to take a wet cloth and clean the dust, the dullness that covers this mirror, the false projection of reality that has forever prevented me from seeing the truth. With a glass cleaning bottle and cloth, I will remove all the fleeting dust particles that have distorted the reality that was, the reality that is and that will be.
My skating has been forever dull. It is covered with these fleeting objects that have prevented me from seeing the truth. But as the dust which covers my mirror shall be removed with a wet cloth, so do all these superficial objects shall be removed with the sweeping motion of time. The layers of clothing, the shoes, the trends, the fashion styles, the competition, the pride, the arrogance...all of these will be lost with time...inevitably. Only the eternal qualities shall remain to shine, to manifest themselves as the reality that was, that is and that will be...
My friend, take a moment and look within yourself...look at the mirror which you call your skating. Is it covered with these superficial objects which have clung onto your soul and prevented you from seeing the truth? Everything will disappear and be lost with time, but only the eternal qualities will remain. The current style of clothing will be lost with time, to be replaced by different ones. Invitably. The shoes will be worn out, disappeared, and forgotten. The girls which clapped at you whenever you skated by will seek different bad boys to applaud at. Inevitably. The people whom you skated with at the spots will put their boards down to pursue different hobbies and fads. The last skateable spot will be made illegal. My friend, when all of these are gone, will the love still be there? Will that love still be there to shine; or will your skating, like the dust which covers this mirror, be lost with time's sweeping hands?
My friend, reflect on this. Seek within yourself the qualities which are hidden beneath the layers of superficial objects. The love...the feeling of contentment and happiness for what you do...the harmony within yourself as you incorporate your surrounding universe whenever you step on that board, as you become one with your skating...the dedication to the purest and most fundamental truth. My friend, even when a mirror is dull and covered with dust, it still has the innate nature to shine brightly and reflect the pure and essential truth. The truth will always remain...it will always be there. What is that essential truth?
My friend, reflect for yourself...