Librarians Read: Saltwater Buddha, a surfer’s quest to find zen on the sea

Saltwater Buddha is the memoir of Jaimal Yogis starting with the first time he runs away to learn to surf the Hawaiian waves – at 16! – and onward as he moves towards a career in journalism. For me the book was at its best when Jaimal was describing his experiences learning to surf and the energy and vitality of his sport, “I was suddenly staring at a beautiful emerald green wall of water with white foam, towering above me. It had come from nowhere: a sleeper – a rouge. There was nothing I could do. Sharp rocks were on all sides of me and I was in the wave’s shadow.” I also appreciated hearing the insights that he gained as a practicing buddhist, “I could list a thousand other rises and falls – such things are, after all, what it is to be human. We all love the highs, the rush, the perfect rides. But here’s the thing I’ve learned: Listen to the low tides too, accept them, surrender to them – and cherish them as well. They too are rich.” I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in surfing, memoir, buddhism, and alternative life paths. It’s a quick read with a lot of insight. (Middle School and up.)

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