Empathy and Surfing


When asked to define empathy, Marshall Rosenberg compared it to surfing, as he relates in this audio clip: Empathy and Surf. When you ride the wave, the thrill is so exhilarating that you forget everything else. You live in the moment when nothing else matters, so intent on riding the wave perfectly that you and the wave become one. Pain and worry disappear, replaced by euphoria, akin to flow. Similarly, when giving empathy, you want to strive for this kind of total presence for the person you are listening to. I transcribed the above recording as follows:


Also on the above webpage is a recording of surfing legend Gerry Lopez: "Well, I think one of the big lessons you learn about surfing is how to operate in the present, that's really what the foundation of the entire surfing experience is."

I just searched Google Books using the keywords empathy + surfing and found this passage written by Marshall Rosenberg in his book Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World (page 82-83):

Empathy Exercises

Empathy Links:
YouTube Videos I've been taking at "Waikiki Walls" while riding my boogie board!!!!

Feel what it's like to surf!


Pictures of me boogie boarding off "The Wall" in Waikiki :


(click on pictures to enlarge and leave comments).

Last updated 20 January 2008

Copyright © 2007-8 by Duen Hsi Yen, All rights reserved.

E-mail: yen@noogenesis.com