If you ask many people about Zen they will say it is living peaceful, it is about sitting meditation, monks in robes and the like. If you ask many people about sailing it will be, pretty much the same without the monks
part. Both are a fraction of the reality that is Zen practice and Sailing. Zen practice is about living harmoniously through not just peaceful moments but, turbulent, terrifying, boarder line moments as well. Accepting the flow of the good and bad times, blending, adapting and continuing to move forward, pausing when needed, maintaining one’s
center of balance. Calmness of mind and spirit, doing what needs to be done with as little effort as possible, the eye of the storm.
Sailing is like that also. The weather is not always peaceful, calm, tranquil. One can get caught in a sudden storm, fog, unexpected gust. Yet, must remain centered, calm, mindful of the moment, blend with the nature of the environment. One must not sail as if it is you and a boat against the wind and waves. Sail rather as an extension of nature, you, the wind and waves, being one with the boat and the environment. This can mean responding quickly with balanced speed, or reefing to a smaller sail, or heaving-to and pausing.
In the practice of Zen there is no duality between us and another, whether it is wind, water, bird, fish or fowl, we are part of everything. When sailing we must be an active part of everything to sail safely. In Zen it is the aim to live responsibility, in sailing we should sail safely and responsibly. There is not just the responsibility
for the safety of the passengers but to the environment.
Sailing is another extension of Zen practice. It is the Yang, the movement to the Yin of stillness/sitting meditation. The Monks of Shaolin, where Zen originated, used Kung Fu as the Yang to the Yin of Sitting meditation, for balance. This is the philosophy of the Zen 24 sail boat, balance in movement and stillness.
It is not just built to stand against the wind and water element or spirit, which is called Feng Shui in Chinese, but to harmonize with the Ocean, with the wind. Care was given to the design of the hydrodynamic advantage of the Zen 24 hull form, and it’s neutral helm even while heeling under strong or unexpected gusts. Yet it is comfortable to be still, have lunch, relax for the weekend alone or with the family..
The sailing responsible, respectfully philosophy carries over into the use of electric power to respect the environment, also to the safe handling of the boat under turbulent conditions. The Zen24 as a light
feeling displacement boat, settles into blending with the Ocean rather than fighting with the sea, under peaceful, light winds or yet adapts to challenging wind speed. The Zen 24 is more than just another sailboat is
an extension of the Zen Philosophy.
Come see the physical manifestation of the Zen philosophy in a boat form at the Strictly Sail show in Oakland April 12-15. Read more on the Zen24 design and handling at our Website: www.zenboat.jp