“the dharma of surfing” begins as a book. That’s all I ever intend it to be. Then I think I should make a website so folks can learn a bit more about the book and order it if they want to buy a copy. But I realise I don’t just want to advertise and sell a book on a website. So I start blogging about some of my surfing and ocean experiences – not a hardship because I sure do love surfing, the ocean and writing. The book is released and friends and neighbours begin to order it. I deliver it to them and we have conversations about the book, about dharma and practice and surfing and spirit and so much more. And I realise that the website/blog could perhaps evolve into a place where lots of us can share our love of surfing, the ocean, Mother Nature and our wisdoms from these exchanges – together. And I also realise that “the dharma of surfing” might become more than a book, it might become something of a community of practice and a way of being in the world.

So this book, this website, this blog, this emerging body of work, this emerging community…is evolving I think. During July 2016 I’d like to add a section called “Voices from the Big Blue” which presents short video clips of people talking about three key themes:

  1. Who they are and where they call home;
  2. Why they surf;
  3. What learnings and wisdoms they take from surfing and the ocean into their lives on land.

If you’d like to contribute a 1-3 minute clip of yourself talking about these things, I’d LOVE you to email it to me: Sally MacKinnon and I’ll do my best to include it. I think it would be amazing to see lots of faces from around Australia and around the world talking about their love of surfing and the places they call home.

There is one more intention/aspiration that I personally have and will flag here. It is my dream to facilitate “dharma of surfing” workshops that include surfing, yoga, meditation, guided conversation about surf-life wisdom and Mother Nature, and nourishing food. I’m open to any configuration of workshops – community, public, organisational, corporate,  AND I would particularly love to work with people who are living with anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism and other life challenges. There is a growing body of evidence that the ocean, surfing and meditation are particularly powerful healers and I would so love to share these gifts more broadly. If you’d like to discuss opportunities for “dharma of surfing” workshops with me, please be in touch: Sally MacKinnon



Sally MacKinnon is a fully qualified surfing, yoga and fitness instructor who lives and works in the mountains and on the beaches of South East Queensland, Australia.

Hi! I am something of a soul surfer of life diving into experiences that nourish an open heart, playfulness and peace. My grounding practices personally and professionally are surfing, yoga, meditation and walking, and sometimes I just love a good run with my dog Sherlock too. I understand the advice that getting published won’t heal your life, but writing will and so I write every day.

I learned to surf at the age of 46 after a lifetime of longing and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to both free surf and teach surfing nearly every day. I made a mid-life career change from professional environmental activism and consulting to surfing, yoga and fitness (through Your Fitness Friend and Surf Easy) at around the age of 50 so I could spend the second half of my life laughing and playing with Mother Nature. I have a PhD in Education – Adult Learning – from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS, 2004) and I am also a Mental Health First Aider.


Scott Johnson is originally from Grafton in Northern NSW, Australia. He grew up on the Clarence River and tasted the water from an early age, both fresh and salt, weekdays in the river and weekends at the beach. He has spent 29 years at sea on various craft and witnessed first-hand the vastness of nature’s offerings. He has a passion for photography and aims to capture the beauty that surrounds us in and out of the water. Scotty recently took up surfing and finds it to be a sincere challenge for the mind, body and soul. He relishes and embraces the challenges presented by nature and surfing.

32 - It's best not to define the ocean by the surfability of the swell...

Huon MacKinnon-Farnworth has been a creative soul since he was very young, particularly in the areas of music, drama, photography and multi-media. He grew up in the rolling green hills of Beechmont in South East Queensland and is a happily-casual surfer and body boarder. He is currently studying Education majoring in Drama and History Teaching and is engaged to his childhood sweetheart Sammy.

Hu Sammy 2