Trimaran of Transcendence
“The human condition isn’t a competition”
Looking back on the lessons of Lua, they were all really about a re-acquaintance with the timeless virtues of simplicity, sufficiency, community, connectedness, personal growth, and resilience.
Conscious breathing. Eating whole, natural plant-based foods. Exercising, preferably in Nature. Listening and learning, continuously, throughout your entire life. Connecting with the world around you. Giving. Meditating. Simplifying your life.
These are all useful habits and behaviors for crafting healthier lifestyles; for helping to create caring, decentralized, low-impact eco-friendly communities; and for achieving meaningful personal growth and maintaining a quiet and harmonious ego.
The human condition isn’t a competition, Lua insisted, as many mainlanders are conditioned to believe. Rather, it’s an experience.
Life should not be a selfish, hyper-competitive, brutal trek up some Maslow summit of personal fulfillment and self-actualization, but a wondrous journey to navigate as best we can.
We are each like sailboats on a vast blue ocean, full of possibilities for meaning, purpose, discovery, and growth; but also full of potential dangers and uncertainty.
Of course, Lua didn't use just any sailboat for her nautical metaphor, it had to be a South Pacific islander classic: a Polynesian double-outrigger sailing canoe, or what we mainlanders call a trimaran.
She explained her marvelous multihull Maslowvian metaphor for psychological and spiritual growth like this:
Our main hull is physical SAFETY. It keeps us afloat.
Our two supporting outrigger hulls are psychological assets: CONNECTION and SELF-ESTEEM. Their added buoyancy and stability counteract loneliness and self-doubt while enabling forward progress under sail with poise and graceful confidence.
LOVING, GIVING, and CREATING are our sails. When they are open, they transport us to greater health, vitality, impact, creativity, connection, contribution, and ego-quieting wholeness.
PURPOSE is our rudder/tiller. It provides meaningful direction.
CIRCUMSTANCES are the rough seas, punishing storms, rogue waves, abusive headwinds, insufferable doldrums — and occasional fair winds and following seas — we encounter along our journey of exploration, setbacks, discoveries, disappointments, joy, grief, and growth.
Our anchor is MEDITATION. It is best deployed whenever safety, connection, self-esteem, loving, giving, creating, or purpose are in need of maintenance, repair, or upgrade.
When we are sailing into novelty that is perfectly balanced just outside of our comfort zone, but within our capabilities; we experience FLOW STATES: heightened periods of intense creative engagement where learning accelerates and time vanishes.
And when we experience sublime life-altering moments of perfect sailing in exquisite harmony with current weather conditions; where inner and outer worlds resonate, connect, and unite; where we experience awe, wonder, rapture, insight, or ecstasy; those are TRANSCENDENT EXPERIENCES. They are beautiful.
I recalled Lua's advice to me,
“Seek balance and beauty and you will be moving in the right direction, doing what the world needs you to do at this moment.”