Someone recently asked me, “What is one thing that you are most proud of?” and I knew my answer immediately. The Bodhi Tribe. The community of people that we have come to know, learn about, and befriend. The amazing people who we have met and mingled with over the years. We have connected with individuals (and have witnessed them connecting with one another) in the spaces that we have created with Bodhi Surf + Yoga.
I believe that what the world needs right now is more real and tangible types of connection: love, friendship, laughter, conversation. So for all of those reasons, it is a great source of pride for me and for all of us at Bodhi to witness that taking place, and know that we have contributed some joy to the world. We are so happy to be open for the season. We look looking forward to meeting each and every new person and welcoming them into the Tribe!
What is the “Bodhi Tribe”?
We started Bodhi Surf + Yoga in 2010, and for the first two or three years, we primarily met our guests either at the beach for surf lessons or at their hotels or vacation rentals for yoga classes. We didn’t get too much time to interface with them, something we felt acutely. So in 2012, we began organizing custom trips, which meant we would be in contact with guests before, during, and after their stay. We began spending more time with them — meeting for dinner at local restaurants, or hanging out after the surf lessons or yoga classes — just getting to know them! In 2013, we first opened the doors of our own Bodhi lodge, and really got to spend time with our guests during, as well as in between yoga classes and surf lessons.
Meanwhile, since the beginning of Bodhi, we have worked with special groups, such as grade schools, universities, and tour companies. We have forged partnerships with organizations, non-profits, other like-minded companies, and have been involved in movements that we deem to be both critical and meaningful. We have hosted interns from around the world. Which means in addition to getting to know the individuals coming to visit our area for shorter time frames, we have also become acquainted with trip leaders, professors and teachers, local guides, responsible business owners and staff, students, grassroots organizers, etc.
The Bodhi Tribe has shaped our business itself
The development of our business has been outside the box. That’s to say, while traditional knowledge often says to keep “clients” and “work acquaintances” safely in one box, and “friends” and “family” firmly ensconced in another, we have always blurred those lines.
The people we have met over the years have shaped our business, and us as individuals. They have challenged us to grow, to improve, to learn. While we hope that we have benefitted those we have encountered on our path, we wouldn’t be where (or who) we are today without our network.
We become close with individuals in every category. Some even become our chosen family! So ultimately, what starting Bodhi Surf + Yoga has done, is left us with an incredible network of individuals, some that we know very well, others that we hope to have the opportunity to spend more time with, all of whom we affectionately refer to as the “Bodhi Tribe”.
A funny Bodhi Tribe anecdote
One of my favorite stories from recent years that highlights the nature of the Bodhi Tribe, is the story of the “matching couples from San Francisco”. Let me explain. We had one couple visit us last year for Christmas, they lived in San Francisco. They had both previously lived out east. Then, in April, we had another couple visit us from San Francisco. They had recently moved there from out east. It was funny, but they immediately reminded me of the first couple (up to and including their respective looks!), but there were several more parallels between them. It turned out that the two gals were both yoga teachers who were involved in a the same yoga educational program in San Francisco. I just knew they had to meet up in their home city!
They did indeed meet up, and they sent us a picture of their dinner together. In fact, they sent us another picture months later of the four of them going surfing together! I had, for the first time in my adult life, been a successful matchmaker, and it was all thanks to Bodhi.
A few more Bodhi Tribe impacts
I think it can be hard to make meaningful connections as you get older. People get into their routines, and you end up meeting those who are in your immediate circle or just adjacent to it. It can be more difficult to meet people based on shared interests, values, or ways of living. At Bodhi, we have managed to create a space where connections are forged based on those very qualities.
The fact of the matter is that the people in our network are awesome. We are in a unique position of getting to know all of these individuals, organizations, and movements, and we enjoy connecting them in different ways when the situation warrants it. It’s practically Travis’s primary job title! We are but a small lodge so we can only host so many people at a time, but we can connect people who live in the same cities back in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. For example, people who are looking for a buddy to continue surfing, doing yoga, or being stewards of environment with once back home!
We have started to make a bigger effort to connect to those who will eventually comprise the Bodhi Tribe, both before we meet them in person as well as after. There is now a Bodhi App that can be downloaded right to your phone (more information, including download instructions, here). We recently created a Facebook group called, you guessed it, The Bodhi Tribe. With all of these actions, we hope to be able to use what we do to do inspire others to awaken their purpose and live more responsibly, passionfully, and deliberately!