Jaimal Yogis
Saltwater Buddha: A surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea
Book Review by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony

Don’t let the author’s name fool you, this soul-searching novel is written by a home-grown West Coast American in a light, accessible and entertaining tone. I like it. Ultimately, we are all left to navigate our own lives, whether or not we choose to abide by the road signs or not, we’re steering, we’re riding the waves. Though I gave it my best try one day, I am not a surfer; still Jaimal openly welcomes me into his world of passion for surfing, both the actual wet, cold, hard-rock bottom of the sport and the mistiness of the analogy for life.

I couldn’t help but compare this work to one done by a friend of mine, “Runaway Monk” by Bruce Manaka. Both are personal journeys of people brave enough to seek an illusive yet natural internal peace instead of a “normal life.” Both authors write bravely and modestly, not shying away from relating the pitfalls and misconceptions of their choices; both making a point of the questionability of their points. I enjoyed both books. Bruce’s is intense and journal like, Jaimal’s more of a narrative, he focuses on making the little stories entertaining on their own. A very welcoming read. Oddly though, the last two chapters take a break from this story format and instead (especially the second to last) breaks into a highly poetic prose. I like the idea, but I think it needs a bit more massaging, as is, I found the tone change a bit abrupt.

Another book that comes to mind is “Siddhartha.” Well, Jaimal specifically references this book, relating his wave-warrioring journey to Siddhartha’s nature seeking trek. Having read “Siddhartha” prior, I enjoyed the allusion all the more. Additionally, Yogis can’t ignore a stop and go relationship with his father. He skillfully weaves that drama into his big picture. At times he even choked me up with the sincerity of some very deep emotions.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed “Saltwater Buddha.” Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“The ocean is in constant flux, and when you spend a lot of time in it you become like a floating bottle with a message inside…”

“I started believing I couldn’t do it. And so I couldn’t.”

“No matter how much I wanted running away to be an act of Buddhahood, it was very far from being anything of the sort.”

“My father is a man of few words -- often our time together feels like watching a silent movie.”

Profound thoughts abound, one that’s been with me for days is the idea that in order to enjoy the high of surfing, one must bear the much less spectacular task of paddling out. Yogis reminds himself (and his readers) that this is true of life on land as well.

Related reading:
SIDDHARTHA by Hermann Hesse
THE ZEN OF SURFING by Ross Anthony

Book Reviews by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony.

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 29-Feb-2012 13:47:23 PST