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'All Our Waves Are Water' Chronicles Surfer’s Spiritual Lessons From The Ocean

Author Jaimal Yogis holding a surfboard in this undated photo.
Peter Dawson
Author Jaimal Yogis holding a surfboard in this undated photo.
'All Our Waves Are Water' Chronicles Surfer’s Spiritual Lessons From The Ocean
'All Our Waves Are Water' Chronicles Surfer’s Spiritual Lessons From The Ocean GUEST: Jaimal Yogis, author, "All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Towards Enlightenment And The Perfect Ride"

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. The rhythm of surfing reflects the rhythm of life for many surfers. Deep relationship with the ocean prompts surfers to take spiritual lessons from the sea. Not many of them write about that journey. Jaimal Ypgis has been sharing his journeys with him in his travels around the world in a series of books including saltwater Buddha , which was made into a documentary. He is out with this latest book all of our waves are water. Welcome to the program. Thank you. Your memoir told the story of the beginning of your independent life as a teenager and ran off to Hawaii to learn to serve. Does this book pick up where the last book left off? More or less, yes. I ran away from home and I went to live in a monastery after learning to surf and then I stumbled into a school and this one picks up a little bit before that. It's where my -- a period I skipped over and my girlfriend a few years we've been planning a trip to India. Right before she leads me for another guy. So I decided I'm going to be strong and go to India anyway. But I'm just crying for her and stumbling around in India but I eventually make it up to the Himalayas where I meet a monk who was heartbroken as well because he lost his family. And seeing him grieving for his family and how different it is from how I am sort of pushing my sadness away that helps me heal. Where does the title out -- all our waves are water? I think it is a cool metaphor but it's more but emotional metaphor. Is speaks of this Buddha idea were basically everything from the fears to the joys to the dishes to the diner the knee -- divinity has a unifying principle. He was able to see that with the waves of emotional. It is something that I think you can feel when you see the ocean because there are stormy days and big waves in small ways but the substance of those is water. That is a connection. There's a connection between human beings even though we feel like we have different views. There is a fundamental sort of connection between us and that's what I want to talk about. Some have compared this book to the male version of love. To think there are overlapping themes? We both and up in Bali where we are contemplating relationships and divinity and so forth. I think she's a very funny writer. So I welcome the comparison. And reporter asked me that the other day. Surfing is a big metaphor that runs about the book. You write about the intersection of surfing, spirituality, and self-discovery. What are some of the lessons that you learned? I serve at a place called Ocean Beach is very similar to San Diego. The waves are great but it can be grueling to get out on a good day. You are only surfing about 1% of the session maybe 2% and the rest is paddling. When I'm surfing and I'm out there, I love it. I love the challenge of it and it would not be fun if it wasn't challenging. That is a metaphor for life because the getting married in the chocolate in the whatever and the dancing with friends is pretty short part of life. The rest is flossing and paddling. So if you can take that love for surfing and how it converts pain into something okay then I try to bring that onto land and look at life that way. We sort of already know how your book ends and you are married and you have three children now. You live in Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Do you feel as if you're settled down? I do feel more settled than I ever thought I would feel while this period of years because I was always somebody who wanted to do a little of everything. I wanted to study Greek history and serve and play music and so that created a little bit of unsettled nests. Something happens when you become a father. You are living for these little beings and you never felt love like that before. To different love than a romantic love and you just -- you live for them and it is actually a wonderful feeling because I don't have as much of that need to seek. With surfing it's like I'm okay if the waves are bad. If I just get a half an hour to serve in front of my house and recover from getting the tantrums that were going on, I'm good and having a great time. San Diego has a big surfer community. I'm sure your books appeal to many surfers who can relate. For those who don't surf and understand that connection with the ocean, what you hope they get out of reading your story? Surfing is the sales pitch and it's really the metaphor and it's the strongest part of it. A lot of it I'm in Jerusalem, New York, DC so a lot of the book is reflections on life. I feel like we are very divided at this time between religious or secular Republican and Democrat. I wanted to write about the things that bring us together and our common humanity and being -- I wanted to talk about them as honestly as possible. This is what we should focus on because life is short. He will speak about his book and the perfect ride tomorrow night at 7:30 PM at the bookstore in La Jolla. Thank you. Thank you. Be sure to watch KPBS even edition at five and 6:30 PM at the join us again tomorrow for KPBS Midday Edition at noon if you ever miss the show, you can check out the podcast at KPBS.org . I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Thank you for listening.

The rhythm of surfing reflects the rhythm of life for many surfers.

A deep relationship with the ocean often prompts surfers to take spiritual lessons from being in the water.

Author Jaimal Yogis is sharing that journey in his new memoir “All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment And The Perfect Ride."

Yogis takes readers from the Himalayas to Indonesia, a Franciscan friary in New York City and Jerusalem, while exploring the intersection of surfing, spirituality and self-discovery.

His latest book picks up where his coming-of-age novel, “Saltwater Buddha”, about his adventures in Hawaii as a teenager, left off.

When: Tuesday 7:30 p.m.

Where: Warwick's Bookstore, La Jolla

Cost: Free and open to the public

"All Our Waves Are Water" book cover.
Courtesy Photo
"All Our Waves Are Water" book cover.
Yogis discusses Monday on Midday Edition the lessons he has learned and the people he has met through his experiences.