It was another sun splashed day in Paradise as I walked the
bumpy boardwalk from Spanish Bay to Asilomar State Beach. Waves
were rolling rainbows off their backs and the sea was
As I passed a couple of tourists, who were looking at the rocks
people had stacked on the beach, I overheard the woman say,
“They must be a bunch of peaceniks that do this. If they want
peace, why not do something productive?”
I had to zip my tongue not to say, “They most definitely are.
World peace will never happen from the outside in; not for all
the New Year’s wishes and politically correct statements by
beauty pageant contestants. It will happen when each of us
learns how to find the peace that already resides within us.
Stacking rocks is an excellent vehicle to get us there. It’s
called ‘cairn’ and while it has been used for centuries to mark
land, it is also a spiritual practice intended to bring the
stacker into the present moment - the “now” where peace
I know this because when I’m taking walks and my monkey mind
won’t shut up; I pick up rocks and feel into the way each one
leans to balance it. It’s an excellent way to take my mind off
worries and get me to focus on the present . . .
Shortly after my interlude I spotted two fire trucks - one with
its ladder fully extended, a fireman atop it with binoculars
trained on the sea – an ambulance, and a truck unloading a wave
A crowd had gathered to watch the scene unfold: apparently, a
surfer got conked on the head by his board, which he lost, and
swam into shore. He was taken care of but rumor had it that
another surfer was in trouble. So out went the wave runner
charging up and over 12-15 foot waves, scouring the sea for
After awhile they returned, and word had it that there was no
one else who needed assistance.
I asked myself, “Why would any sane person risk life and limb
surfing such towering waves? Why do mountain climbers lose body
parts and even their lives climbing Mt. Everest? Why does Sean
Tucker fly death defying stunts in his screamin’ orange Oracle
Well, when I interviewed him, he had an answer: because it
places you precisely in the moment. And in the present moment
there is peace, bliss and even ecstasy.
If each of us learned to access that place more often, through
meditation, prayer, affirmation or daring feats, maybe we would
have world peace . . .