Surfing the Sea of Chi
by Lea Williamson
In an effort to overcome her lifelong fear of all things water, Lea takes up the challenge of surfing at forty years old. Even in the clear, shallow waters of Cocoa Beach, with her friend and avid surfer Mersea at her side, she struggles to catch her breath in waist-deep water because of her intense fear. But, using tai chi and qigong breath work techniques, she is able to calm her breathing and quickly realizes surfing is a lot like tai chi.
Although going mostly unnoticed, breathing is the key to not only Lea’s surfing success but also living a healthy, vibrant life. She explains how a healthy breath creates mind-body health. She also teaches us that the opposite is true: a panic, fear-based breath creates a life of anxiety. Each chapter begins with words from the primary Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching, and then uses those principles to explore surfing as a form of Taoism.
Lea provides evidence of how chi arts can help heal many individual, societal, and environmental diseases in a cost-effective manner. Lea recognizes “spirit” as a simple, natural energy, not out of the ordinary. For complete health, people need harmony of mind, body, and spirit. Interwoven throughout her surf story is the need for self-responsible daily choices in order to achieve balance and harmony. You will be left with a sense of empowerment and the knowledge of simple chi arts techniques that have profound personal and planetary health impacts.