Zen and the Art of Snowboarding

After an exhilarating ride down the mountain on my snowboard, I reached the bottom of the slope where—much to my surprise—I found Master Fwap waiting for me. He had a huge grin on his face!

I carefully brought my snowboard to a halt a safe distance in front of him and shouted out in amazement, “Master Fwap, what are you doing here?”

“Why, I’m waiting for you, of course,” he replied in a matter-of-fact tone.

I hopped off my snowboard, removed my goggles, and stared at him. I was speechless.

“You look well,” he remarked with a soft chuckle. “How have you been getting on with your snowboarding project?”

Master Fwap was referring to an assignment he had given me when I had last seen him many weeks ago. At that time, he recommended I evolve my snowboarding from a consumer sport into a Buddhist practice he referred to as “mindfulness.”

Master Fwap had told me the Buddhist practice of mindfulness is perfectly suited to snowboarding, because it is a type of meditation that is accomplished while a person is physically active. The most critical part of mindfulness, he had carefully explained to me, is to be consciously aware—while snowboarding—that my snowboard and I were “one.”

At the time I wasn’t particularly interested in learning how to meditate at all, let alone while snowboarding down some of the most difficult and treacherous slopes in the world, but Master Fwap had convinced me to try his mindfulness technique by promising it would radically improve my snowboarding.

“Okay, I guess,” I sheepishly replied to his question. “To tell you the truth, Master Fwap, I haven’t really practiced your technique very often. Most of the time when I’m snowboarding, I get so involved in what I am doing I forget to visualize that I am the board.”

“Do not be discouraged. It takes both time and practice to turn an activity like snowboarding into meditation. Be patient. No matter how difficult it may seem at first, keep visualizing that you and your snowboard are one and that you are both made of the same energy.”

“But it’s so hard!” I complained.

“It’s only as hard as you think it is,” Master Fwap quickly replied.

“Master Fwap, that’s easy for you to say. You grew up here in the East. All of your cultural traditions support Buddhist yoga. Where I come from we have cultural traditions like television, beer, and football.”

“You are feeling sorry for yourself and making excuses when none are necessary,” he curtly replied. “Life is hard, harsh, and cruel; it is also incredibly beautiful and worthy of our deepest respect.”

“Master Fwap, I don’t understand what you mean by that. I know that life is simultaneously difficult and beautiful, but what does that have to do with what we were just talking about? You always say things like that just to change the subject.”

“I am not changing the subject. I am just putting the subject into its proper perspective. We can’t really talk about the practice of meditation, in either a physically active or passive form, unless we see it as an interactive mental and spiritual process that intimately connects us with the rest of the universe.”

“But what does that have to do with the beauty and harshness of life? I simply get distracted by the difficulty of snowboarding down some of the slopes, that’s all. I still don’t understand what you’re driving at.”

“I’m not driving at anything,” he quickly replied. “You are. I am simply standing at the foot of this beautiful mountain waiting for you to ask me the ‘just right’ question for the precise moment and location that we are in.” He spoke in a melodious tone of voice. It was apparent from both the relaxed expression on his face and the tone of his voice that Master Fwap was not the least bit perplexed by my sudden emotional outburst.

“And what question might that be?” I asked. I had learned from my previous experiences with Master Fwap that he had a way of leading me into long and complex metaphysical conversations through which he attempted to teach me Buddhist yoga.

To be honest with you, at that exact moment in time and space, I was a young man who was not the least bit interested in learning anything more about Buddhist metaphysics. I was tired, hungry, and cold. I had definitely been weirded-out by my experiences with the strange voice back up on the peak. The only conscious thought in my mind was to get into the local village a short distance away as soon as possible. I had made arrangements earlier in the day with a Nepalese family who lived in the village to spend the night in their home. I wanted to get there, eat some hot food, and crash. That was it.

But it was clear from Master Fwap’s voice and from the playful gleam in his eyes I wasn’t going to get off that lightly. My previous experiences with Master Fwap had taught me he was highly telepathic and had an uncanny ability to read minds. I knew he was aware of my discomfort. However, as I contemplated Master Fwap’s question, I had a feeling I wasn’t going to end up in the village with hot food and a soft sleeping bag in the very near future, if at all.

“You know all too well which question I am referring to,” he continued, his broad smile gently accentuating the small wrinkles that lined his aged Tibetan face. “Close your eyes, clear your mind, silence your thoughts, and the question will come to you.”

Following Master Fwap’s instructions, I closed my eyes and attempted to quiet my thoughts. At first, thoughts buzzed through my mind like a swarm of angry bees, but after a few minutes of focusing on emptiness, my thoughts began to slow. Several more minutes passed, and instead of listening to my thoughts, I began to hear the wind rushing through the snowy mountain passes above us.

Then, quite suddenly, without knowing how I was so certain, I knew exactly what the “just right” question was. I opened my eyes and asked, “Whose voice was it that I heard up on top of the peak, Master Fwap?”

“I can’t tell you that yet,” Master Fwap replied, as a serious expression suddenly fell over his face. “Before I can determine that, please tell me what the voice said to you.”

“It said something about the dimensions being missing. That’s really all I remember. The voice sounded very sad to me.”

Master Fwap looked at me with a vacant expression. I had the strange feeling he wasn’t totally in his body right then.

Waiting for Master Fwap’s answer, I studied his appearance. He was approximately five foot two, very thin, and couldn’t have weighed more than one hundred and twenty-five pounds. From my six-foot-three-inch vantage point, I had a clear view of his neatly shaved, round head.

His face, like that of so many Tibetan people, was gently wrinkled from a lifetime of exposure to bright sunlight and the thin air at extremely high altitudes. Even though his skin was marked with many small, fine lines of age, it didn’t seem old and worn. In fact, his skin had a healthy and youthful glow.

Master Fwap had told me once that he was seventy-three years old. His eyes were hazel colored, and they seemed to change hue according to his mood. When he smiled—which was frequently—he revealed a perfect set of pearly white teeth.

His saffron-colored monk’s robe was ancient. In places, its color was uneven and faded from extended exposure to the sun. He wore small boots and high stockings. His English, while perfect, was slightly accented. While I stood shivering in the oncoming Himalayan night, dressed in America’s warmest and best technology, Master Fwap, dressed in his light cotton robe, seemed oblivious to the freezing wind buffeting our bodies.

After several more minutes of silence, Master Fwap’s expression sharpened. He then began to speak to me in a quiet, barely audible tone against the din of the rising mountain winds of sunset.

“There are many mysteries in the Himalayas,” he slowly began. “There are many astral doorways and parallel dimensions hidden deep within the mountains here. These astral doorways and dimensions lead to thousands of different parallel universes. The spirits of great masters who left their bodies long ago occasionally return to this world to convey an important piece of information to someone here. They step in and out of these astral doorways to do so. Today, when you were up on the mountain, one of these disembodied masters came and spoke to you and gave you an important message—”

“You mean I wasn’t simply hallucinating back up there on the peak?” I interrupted.

“No, you weren’t.”

“Well, Master Fwap, what did he mean? And why would a disembodied yoga master speak to me?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“Wait a second. How could I hear him if he wasn’t in his body? How could he speak to me without a voice?”

I was suddenly very suspicious. I thought that perhaps Master Fwap was just kidding me.

“He spoke to you telepathically,” Master Fwap calmly replied. “You heard him talking inside of your mind.”

“What dimensions was he talking about? Why can’t you tell me what he meant? I thought that you were enlightened. Doesn’t that mean you know everything?”

“So many questions. Yes, as you know, I am enlightened. But to be enlightened does not mean that you know all things.”

“Well, then, what does it mean?”

I had asked him before what it was like to be enlightened, and he always seemed to give me contradictory answers. I had a feeling that his answer would by no means be short, so using my snowboard as a seat, I sat down and relaxed, preparing myself for what I assumed would be a long discourse.

“When you are enlightened, you live in a condition of perfect inner light and happiness. Enlightenment is the complete awareness of all things, without mental modifications. But that is not the same as knowing particular things. The knowledge of particular things in the occult dimensions is part of the siddha powers. Different masters have different siddha powers, but none of us has them all. I don’t have access to the particular dimensions that you need to see into to understand the riddle the disembodied master has given you to solve.”

“Well, if you don’t know, how will I ever find out?”

“I know someone, although I have not seen him for many years, who might be able to help you. It is a long journey, though, and he can be difficult…”

I shifted my position slightly on my snowboard and asked, “What do you mean by difficult, and why do you think that what I heard up on the peak is a riddle?”

At this point, I was becoming very perplexed by everything that Master Fwap was saying. I wanted a quick, easy, simple explanation.

“The master spoke to you because he saw that you needed his help. I cannot tell you what he meant, and even if I could, my explanation wouldn’t help you. By solving his riddle you will solve yourself, if you know what I mean. I can tell you, however, that it is very unusual for a disembodied master to return to this plane and communicate with someone, as he did with you. I’m sure it is very important for you to solve the riddle of the missing dimensions. I hope for your sake that you solve it before you leave the Himalayas and return to America,” Master Fwap said mysteriously.

As I listened to Master Fwap, I was beginning to get anxious. My previous experiences with him had convinced me that there was much more to life than met my eyes.

I had originally come to Nepal to snowboard the Himalayas. Since snowboarding has always been a transcendental as well as physical experience for me, when I initially “ran into” Master Fwap, I was open to some of his ideas about Buddhism, particularly when he demonstrated to me that there was a definite interrelationship between proficiency and advancement in Buddhism and advancement in snowboarding.

Initially I was skeptical that learning about Tantric Buddhism and practicing meditation would improve my ability to snowboard, but after traveling with Master Fwap for many weeks in the Himalayas, and learning and practicing the snowboarding and meditation techniques he recommended to me, I had discovered he was absolutely right.

My previous physical and metaphysical experiences with him had been so powerful, and at the same time so practical, I had made an internal decision that I was more than willing to follow him anywhere, so long as it would continue to help me to become a better snowboarder.

While I didn’t really want to get involved with solving the riddle of the missing dimensions, suddenly I felt that I had to. I mustered my courage and asked Master Fwap a question that, without realizing it at the time, would take me on an adventure that would change my life forever.

“Who is the person you think might be able to help me understand all of this?”

“There is a certain Oracle who lives in the Thunderbolt Monastery. He has access to many of the more obscure dimensional planes. He might be able to assist you, but as I said, he can be quite difficult at times....”

‘What do you mean by that? In what way is he difficult?”

Master Fwap did not answer my question. Instead, he remained silent. Then after a brief time he spoke: “I think the best way to answer your question is for you to meet the Oracle yourself. Come with me to the Thunderbolt Monastery. You have done enough snowboarding for now. It’s time for you to resume your Buddhist education. The voice on the mountain was telling you something important. Come, we will inquire of the Oracle together!”

Without hesitation, Master Fwap turned and started walking down the snow-covered slope toward the rock and gravel road below. I quickly unslung my day pack, changed from my snowboarding boots into my hiking boots, and reshouldered my day pack. Strapping my snowboard onto my back, I ran down the snowy slope after him. The two of us thus began our journey to the Thunderbolt Monastery, to meet the mysterious Oracle who lived there.

As we hiked down the road into the Nepalese sunset, we talked. The soft pastel hues of red and purple began to darken in the Himalayan sky above us.

Though Master Fwap was a Tibetan Buddhist monk, he was well versed in a variety of different schools of Buddhism. In one of our very first conversations, he had explained to me why he freely drew techniques and understandings from different Buddhist traditions.

Many Buddhist masters confined themselves to a single Buddhist school of teachings, but it was his feeling that staying within a particular Buddhist school was not that important. He believed an individual who studied Buddhist yoga and meditation should learn all of what he referred to as the “branches” of the “tree of Buddhist knowledge.” He admonished me to learn and employ whichever Buddhist techniques I found worked best for me, regardless of whether they were from the Tibetan, Zen, or any other Buddhist school.

The early evening air grew even colder, so I pulled my parka around me tightly. Master Fwap resumed his ongoing conversation about Zen and the art of snowboarding.

“Before you start snowboarding down a mountain,” he began, shifting to a more formal tone, “visualize that you and your snowboard are part of a singular globe of light. Then, as you descend the slope, continue to hold that image firmly in your mind.”

He chuckled. “Naturally you must keep your eyes open! Watch where you are going at all times! When you first start to practice mindfulness, you will occasionally be distracted and forget to practice your visualization technique. Try not to be frustrated when this happens. When you are distracted and forget, simply revisualize the globe of light and then hold its image in your mind. Once you have become comfortable with this technique, you will be ready for the second and more advanced part of this visualization. I did not mention this more advanced part of the technique to you when we were last together, because I wanted you to have a chance to become proficient in the basic visualization first.

“While you are snowboarding down a mountain,” he continued, “stretch out your feelings and awareness as far as you can. Reach out and touch the web of life around you.”

“What is the web of life, and how would I visualize touching it?” I asked, breathing hard. We were ascending a high pass, and the cold, thin air made it difficult for me to hike and talk simultaneously. My curiosity was now aroused by his description of the second part of the technique. I didn’t know if I could successfully visualize what he had described while plummeting down mountains of snow and ice, but if it would help me advance my snowboarding skills, I would definitely give it a try.

Master Fwap looked at me for a moment when we finally reached the top of the pass. Then he laughed as he answered my question. “In Zen Buddhist philosophy, all of life is considered to be holy. It is the Zen belief that all individual manifestations of life are interconnected by invisible lines of energy. These lines of energy intimately connect everything in the universe to everything else, in and through the astral and causal dimensions.”

We walked down the other side of the pass in silence for several minutes. The sun had now completely disappeared behind the mountains. The only light that enabled us to see where we were walking was the bright, white halo that surrounded the jagged, snow-covered western peaks above us and then reflected down onto the snow-covered road we were traversing.

“Don’t indulge yourself with feelings of guilt or recrimination,” Master Fwap said, returning to our earlier topic of conversation. “Be calm and stay centered, and then start practicing the technique again.

“It is a good idea to avoid judging your progress whenever you practice any type of yogic meditation technique. The reason for this is simple—Buddhist yoga is beyond the mind’s understanding.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“When you practice a meditation technique, you are learning to interact with both the hidden portions of yourself and those of the universe. The latter exist in the nonphysical dimension.”

“But,” I interjected, “isn’t it important to gauge your progress when you are learning any new skill? If you don’t know how well you are doing something, how can you know whether you should be trying to do it better, or if you should modify or radically change your approach?”

“The study of Buddhist yoga,” Master Fwap began, “or of any mystical practice or discipline that takes you above body consciousness, should be approached in a non-conceptual way. Then the result of using the technique will be the practice itself.”

“How can the result be the practice itself? The reason you practice an art in the first place is to gain something from it, isn’t it?”

Master Fwap laughed gently, rhythmically shaking his head from side to side. He then gave me one of his all-knowing Buddhist monk smiles before responding, “The purpose of Buddhist yoga is to become enlightened. But enlightenment is not just one thing. Of course there is total enlightenment, which is the melding of your mind with nirvana. But there are also countless other small enlightening experiences, which I refer to as ‘epiphanies.’ ”

“What is an epiphany?” I inquired, as I sidestepped a large group of stones that had fallen into the center of the mountain road.

“An epiphany is a powerful mystical experience. An epiphany occurs when you make a brief excursion beyond your physical body and mind and travel into a dimension of light. During that journey your mind transcends the normal categorical states of consciousness it usually perceives time and space through, and, for a timeless time, it perceives reality in non-ordinary ways. An epiphany is usually also the catalyst for a metamorphosis in your day-to-day consciousness. You are never quite the same after having experienced one. After you have an epiphany, your mind gains a new and better understanding of both yourself and the universe you live in.”

“But what does having an epiphany have to do with Buddhist yoga being the result of being the practice itself?” I asked in a frustrated tone of voice. At this point, Master Fwap had totally lost me, and I hoped he would explain what he had just said.

“Consider snowboarding, for a moment. Why do you snowboard? You snowboard because your practice is your result. Or, to put it another way, you enjoy doing it simply because you are doing it. Practicing Buddhist yoga is similar. People practice Buddhist yoga because they enjoy the experiences they have during the period of time they are practicing.”

We walked on in silence for some time. The moon had started to rise and provided ample light for us to maneuver.

“When you are meditating, your higher mind is reaching out and touching the web of life. During meditation you touch higher dimensions of consciousness. These dimensions cause you to experience power, ecstasy, and knowledge during the minutes you are meditating. The feelings you have while meditating are often renewing and wonderful! So the point of practicing meditation is to experience the heightened feelings that come from this new awareness. Do you understand?”

“I think so, Master Fwap,” I replied in an unsure voice. “You are saying that people meditate because it makes them feel good while they are meditating.”

“That is correct,” he immediately responded. “It feels wonderful to meditate. Nothing feels better! And after a person has finished meditating, the mind is relaxed, at peace, and filled with bright, luminous energy.”

“Okay, I can understand that part, but what does this all have to do with not knowing how I am progressing in my practice, and then what does that have to do with epiphanies?”

“You do have a wonderful way of confusing yourself, don’t you?” Master Fwap inquired with a soft smile.

I didn’t reply. I knew if I said anything more at this point I would only confuse myself further.

“This is really not so difficult to understand,” Master Fwap continued. “Let me try to simplify all of this for you. We have two sides, that’s all.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“We have two bodies. We all have a physical body through which we perceive and interact with the physical universe, and we also have an energy body through which we perceive and interact with the nonphysical dimensions.

“The problem is that our physical body and mind are blatantly unaware of our nonphysical side. You see, our physical person is really the smaller of our two bodies. Our nonphysical side is infinitely greater; it exists simultaneously in many different dimensions. Our nonphysical side is ancient, powerful, and knowledgeable. It is the part of us that exists from one incarnation to another. Within it is housed everything that you have learned in all of your past lives. When you can bring the awareness of your nonphysical body into your day-to-day consciousness, you become a happier and more powerful person.”

“But what does that awareness have to do with not judging my progress in meditation?”

“Hmm? Oh, I was just getting to that. Your physical mind cannot possibly grasp the true nature of your nonphysical body. It simply doesn’t have the capacity to do so. It can, however, become aware that your nonphysical body exists, and it can also learn to appreciate its help. The world is not really what it seems to be at all. By that I mean life is not reasonable. It just is. As thinking beings, we have grown accustomed to explaining life to ourselves as a reasonable process. But that is simply our default as reasoning beings and not necessarily a true and correct perception of the way things actually are.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Okay, for example, when you put on a pair of colored sunglasses, the world that greets your eyes changes color. Your colored sunglasses superimpose a colored tint over everything you see. When you remove your sunglasses, you again see the world in its normal coloration. Life is what it is, but our reasoning mind and sense perceptions tint what we perceive. Meditation, be it passive or active, is simply a way of seeing and experiencing life directly, without any mental modifications, or, to put it another way, without any sunglasses on. Your physical mind cannot see into the invisible realms of consciousness; it simply doesn’t have the ability to do so.”

Master Fwap paused for a moment before continuing.

“Since your progression in meditation takes place in the non-physical dimensions—which are beyond your physical mind’s perceptions—your physical mind simply can’t know how you are doing. Any thoughts or judgments you might have about your progression in meditation are purely conjecture and should be disregarded. While your physical mind may not be able to chart your progression into the nonphysical dimensions, it can pragmatically appreciate your meditative journeys.”

“How?” I asked. “I thought you just said my physical mind can’t know whether I am progressing in meditation. If that’s true, how can it appreciate whether meditation is beneficial to me?”

“Because it can see the results,” Master Fwap replied, with a satisfied look on his face. “Your mind can see that meditating regularly makes you happier and more at peace with yourself, and that it also improves your ability to do just about anything more successfully and happily, including snowboarding. While your physical mind might not understand exactly what is going on with your nonphysical side, it can accept and embrace your practice of meditation because it can logically see the benefits for its physical self.

“When you first start to practice meditation and mindfulness,” Master Fwap went on, “you should not look for a quick result. As a matter of fact, when you first start practicing, you will probably feel that you are accomplishing nothing and simply wasting your time. But if you continue to practice in spite of these internal doubts, after a few months you will begin to have more energy, feel happier, and be better at almost everything you do! As you become more adept at meditating and your practice improves, you will start to have ecstatic experiences while you are meditating. The process itself will then become its own reward.”

“So, Master Fwap, if I understand what you are saying correctly, in the beginning, practicing mindfulness while I am snowboarding is a faith thing, and I should just do it, even though it won’t seem to be making that much of a difference in how I feel or snowboard?”

“That is correct. Give it six months. After that, I think that you will be rather pleasantly surprised.”

“So what does meditation have to do with the epiphanies you mentioned?” We had just rounded the corner of a mountain, and in its shadow I couldn’t see Master Fwap very well as he answered my question.

“Epiphanies are strong meditative experiences. Initially, you will have them when you are meditating, but after you have practiced meditation for several years, your consciousness will become more lucid and you will be able to journey to the other dimensions any time you want or need to.”

“So an epiphany is a journey into the other dimensions?” I asked. “How is that different from meditation?”

“Meditation is a process by which you stop your physical thoughts. When your physical thoughts stop, the world stops, and time and space dissolve into essence.

“Let’s just say that an epiphany is a very strong meditative experience—an exceptional meditative experience. During an epiphany you go beyond your normal level of meditation—in which you are consciously experiencing higher dimensional light and ecstasy—and you become the experience you are experiencing.”

“But wait … If you become the thing that you are experiencing, then you can’t be ‘you’ anymore, and therefore you can’t know what you are experiencing, or even that you are having an experience.”

“Yes, normally I would agree with you. Except that you are forgetting just one thing.”

“What is that?”

“An entirely different ‘you’ might be conscious of its own experience.”

“I don’t get it. Give me an example.”

“Well, suppose you were snowboarding down a mountain, and you were practicing mindfulness. Suddenly, your awareness left this world and went to the other side, into the nonphysical dimensions. There your mind merged with a higher dimension of intelligent light, and you then became that dimension.

“And let us further suppose,” Master Fwap continued, as we rounded the corner of the mountain and were, much to my relief, bathed again in the Nepalese moonlight, “that the dimension you became had an independent awareness of its own, an awareness far beyond human awareness, an awareness that apprehended life in a totally different way than you are accustomed to. Then you would be aware of your experience as that dimension, only it would be a different ‘you’ that would be aware of it.”

“What would happen to my body while my mind went to the other side and assumed a different awareness? Wouldn’t I fall off my snowboard and get hurt or killed?”

“No. If you were having a real epiphany, you would be just fine. Your body would continue to do everything perfectly, actually even more perfectly than normal, while your conscious awareness was elsewhere.”

“But when I came back to being me again, would I remember going to the other side, or would I remember snowboarding down the mountain?”

“No, you wouldn’t remember either experience, at least not in the way that you are normally used to remembering things. Your experience on the other side would be only a vague recollection of bright and beautiful light to you, nothing more. And you would suddenly find yourself back in your physical body again, without remembering what your body’s experience had been while your conscious awareness was on the other side.”

“I kind of understand what you mean, Master Fwap. Sometimes when I am driving on the interstates of California I forget that I am driving. Particularly when I am driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Suddenly I realize I just drove fifty miles successfully, but I don’t remember having done it. Is that similar to what you are describing?”

“Yes, your body is directing your car perfectly, while another part of you is traveling through the interdimensional planes.”

“What’s the point, then? If I wouldn’t get to enjoy experiencing the other side, or this side, during an epiphany, why bother?”

“Oh, but you would experience both sides! It just depends on which ‘you’ we are talking about. Your physical person would enjoy the feelings of snowboarding, just as it does normally. And your nonphysical self would enjoy itself to the utmost while it journeyed into and became one with one of the dimensions of higher intelligent light.”

“But where would I be during all of this?”

“Why, you would be in both places at once.”

“But you said I wouldn’t remember either experience, and that I wouldn’t even know I was having, or had, them.”

“Well, I suppose it depends on who you are, doesn’t it?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well, suppose you are your physical body, and at the same time you are a different you in other dimensions, as well.”

“But what about the me that is talking to you now. Isn’t this who I really am?”

“No, of course not. The you that is speaking to me now isn’t the real you at all.”

“But how can that be true? I am me, aren’t I?”

“Not according to Buddhist yoga,” Master Fwap smiled. “The whole point of practicing yoga is to discover that we are someone or something completely different from who or what we thought we were. As long as you conceive of yourself as a person in dimensional space, you are trapped in an inaccurate description of yourself and—to return to my earlier analogy—you are seeing the world and yourself through tinted glasses. As you progress in your meditation practice, you will come to discover you are much more complicated than you had ever imagined yourself to be! The ‘you’ that you refer to as yourself is at best only a thin veneer; it is a mask that prevents you from knowing and being all that you really are. Through the practice of Buddhist yoga, we gradually remove the mask of personality. We find out that beneath our mask of personality we have an infinite variety of selves within us.

“As your famous American poet, Walt Whitman, said, we ‘contain multitudes.’ Continue your practice of mindfulness and meditation. Don’t worry about how you are doing, just do it. Remember, the only bad type of practice is when you don’t practice at all. In time you will discover your other selves, and eventually you will discover the deepest part of your being, nirvana, which is, of course, wonderful beyond your mind’s understanding.

“Keep practicing, and in time you will be able to become consciously one with your snowboard—or anything else, for that matter. Remember, the trick with any type of meditation is simply to keep trying, even if it doesn’t seem like you are making any progress at all.”