Surfing and Spirituality: Finding Zen and Connection in the Ocean

Surfers are often categorized alongside hippies and outsiders as spiritual beings who may not quite fit in with the rest of society. We believe that’s partly because it’s a sport heavily reliant on the natural world, including the waves, wind, and tide. Because of its connection with nature, surfing is inherently spiritual, as you have to align yourself with the waves to create those unforgettable rides you think about for weeks.

Let’s learn a little more about how surfers find connection and zen in the ocean.

The Art of Presence: How Surfing Teaches Mindfulness and Spiritual Awareness

Surfing teaches mindfulness and spiritual awareness in several ways you may not even imagine. The ever-changing waves and ocean conditions force you to live in the moment and experience each wave differently. Surfers must also be aware of their surroundings to stay safe amongst the waves, sea creatures, reefs/rocks, and other possible kooks. This takes the mind off many of life’s daily worries for a while.

Surfing also forces surfers to let go of control. You can always predict what a wave is going to do, and sometimes you’re forced to surrender to the ocean’s power. Surfing teaches you to be okay with the unpredictability of nature and life.

Surfers often describe being in the water as the most peaceful time of day. That’s partly because there’s still no way to take your iPhone or laptop out into the water with you. Surfing forces you to disconnect from technology and focus on the now.

Soulful Swells: Understanding the Deep Spiritual Energy Within Ocean Waves

Waves are energy in motion, so it is no surprise that in addition to natural energy, waves have a deep spiritual energy. Spiritual energy varies from one person to another, but most can agree the ocean’s power and majesty is undeniable.

Zen moments on waves: Surfing and Spirituality harmonize in perfect balance
Zen moments on waves: Surfing and Spirituality harmonize in perfect balance

Waves are a symbol of flow and continuity, representing the continuous cycle of life. At the same time, waves are impermanent, reminding surfers that life is impermanent and this present existence doesn’t last forever. The ocean reminds surfers again and again to connect with nature and live in the present moment.

Saltwater Therapy: The Healing Power of Surfing for Mind, Body, and Spirit

The ocean is said to have healing properties, and so is surfing. It has been praised for its mental and physical health benefits for decades. The way you heal from the ocean may be different from how someone else experiences the ocean’s healing power.

The following are a few ways the ocean heals the body and mind:

  • Physical fitness, including muscle strength, cardiovascular health, coordination, balance, and more
  • Stress reduction
  • Improved mood while riding waves and after due to the connection with nature, social interactions, and physical activity
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Helping cope with grief and other hardships by putting life into perspective

Riding the Wave of Mindfulness: How Surfing Enhances Presence

Surfing is more than a super fun and thrilling water sport. It’s a powerful tool for improving your presence. Sitting on the waves, the ocean calls your full attention, forcing you to stay in tune and balance your board, look for ideal waves, and focus on catching the good one.

Wave riding pulls you straight into the moment whether you like it or not. It’s an excellent tool for learning to stay present for those who have difficulty disconnecting or are experiencing difficult or chaotic life events.

Surfing as a Moving Meditation: Finding Stillness in Motion

Surfing is full of dichotomies. One of those involves how the ever-moving ocean allows you to find stillness, relaxation, and even complete serenity.

Riding waves, finding peace: the union of surfing and spirituality
Riding waves, finding peace: the union of surfing and spirituality

To become still in the ocean, you must master your balance and control of the board, becoming one with the rhythm of the ocean. This is another time for you to focus on the present and simply remain still as the ocean ebbs and flows around you. The ocean can be so calming at times that you may forget you’re out there to catch waves.

Surfing Communities and Spiritual Growth: The Power of Connection

Ever wonder why surf communities are so strong? Surfing connects people from all walks of life due to their common love for the sport, the waves, and the entire ocean. As more surfers hit lineups around the globe, they’re forced to interact, follow rules, and respect one another.

In addition to connecting with others, surfing encourages you to connect with yourself and Mother Nature. This is where you leave your land-based stresses behind to focus on bettering yourself and your surfing. It’s a one-of-a-kind sport that teaches you to appreciate, respect, and connect with nature, sea life, waves, and fellow humans.

Connect With the Ocean at Hollow Tree’s

Surfing encourages mindfulness, spiritual awakening, connection, and presence, and that’s part of what makes it the best sport in the world. It promotes an undeniably strong connection with the immediate moment, Mother Nature, and even your own body.

Through surfing, you’ll practically be forced to improve your patience, emotional regulation, and patience. These are all qualities that can improve your surfing and your daily life.

Hollow Tree’s Resort in the Indonesian Mentawai Islands gives surfers an unrivaled chance to connect with the ocean, themselves, and fellow surfers in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Here, you’ll have access to relaxing resort grounds, numerous world-class waves, healthy foods, natural drinks, and gorgeous nature walks.

A surf vacation at Hollow Tree’s Resort is a fool-proof way to improve your physical and mental well-being while finding Zen and connection in the ocean.

Related read:

Surfing and emotion, riding for better health

What Does Surfing Do To Your Mind?