Jumping When You See Rocks Below


In Acapulco on a bright Summer Day, you can see divers leap off from 300 foot perches down into the water.  We watch in jaw-dropping amazement the level of concentration and bravery to pull off such a dangerous feat.  The shimmering sun on the turquoise water presents a memorable experience and an enchanting invitation to repeat the visit.


The 3pm exhibition began as Donaldo Urioste, the veteran diver had stepped out of the usual lineup that day to observe a cadet Esteban. The usual breathing preparations were made as Esteban mentally rehearsed the dive off the 324 foot precipice between two yellow flags.


Gerardo jumped and stuck a perfect dive as the locals cheered with awe and excitement. Now it was Esteban’s turn. Just as he was about leap off he heard a loud shrieking yell, “Para te!” meaning “stop!”. Esteban regained his balance and jerked his head responding with “Que?” He was shocked like an unexpected bang of a firecracker had interrupted his attention and made his heart pound suddenly.


Regaining his balance,  “Why are you jumping when you see the water below?” asked Donaldo. “Esteban, you jump when you see rocks, that way the water will be there by the time you reach the point of entry.”  This was the defining quality between an amateur and pro like Donaldo. Pros jump when the rocks are seen down below; it’s the cue to leap off.


Donaldo continued to explain the difference between believing and faith in terms of the best mindset model for successful diving.  He said, “Believing is wishing the rocks are covered with water when you get there, but faith is being open to anything with relaxed attentiveness. It’s about leaping meaningfully into uncertainty, each jump we do, starting with no thought, no mind.” He called this “leap from nowhere, leap from zero point.” Donaldo went on to explain that faith is openness to what’s here and now, ready for anything, expecting nothing.  To him, thought is out, presence is on.   This is zero point.  Each dive is a leap into the great mystery where life meets us halfway,  like walking the mystery path with practical feet.


If the goal of the dive is to land in style, then faith must be put toward the possibility of that happening. Later that afternoon, Donaldo described it as, “bringing nothing with you to jump.” Zero point is jumping from the future, not the past. He said to get to this state of mind, one let’s go of his fear, the inner enemy, and operates from a place of presence. Meaning overwhelms resistance as faith becomes the dynamic catalyst for leaping into the downward motion of the dive.


Donaldo called this dynamic faith “dying into the dive, where you leave everything behind and make room in yourself for what’s here.”  He his greatest take-away was learning to listen deeply this way. Hitting the water was birth to him, or initiation into newness. During the dive the transformation is in motion, something on its way out of you, exhausting itself, as something new is on its way to you, this is the flow pattern of energy in diving for living. He said each dive strengthened faith in this natural order like a new relationship with one’s future self.  He applies this to every area of his life building process.


As I reflected on Donaldo’s sage words, similarly professional creators that I coach learn how to put their faith toward their goals and operate from that place of being open to the outcome, unattached to it. They learn to show up, and be present. They discover that by bringing meaning and intention into the attention to whatever arises, their awareness becomes generative. Nature cooperates. Entrepreneurs learn by taking a series of meaningful leaps like these divers when the rocks are seeable below.


We must learn to jump when we see rocks with the openness to everything the future outcome needs will be given to us just perfectly as it is, by dying into living this moment.  We must act in that instant knowing only what matters to us, leaving know-how behind us.  This is the heart of transcendence. The past doesn’t put its hands on the present.


Entrepreneurs find that the downward motion of faith into intention actually positions their safety. But to get there, they must leave their preoccupations with safety, security, and comfort behind to get to the next level. They realize that one cannot generate more opportunity by avoiding risks all at once. We create opportunity by taking risks. It’s the price we pay for our freedom, as a lifestyle choice.


The Message: By taking our intention inward and going out with our whole being committed, we find the water below is ready to receive our safe landing. There is no cure for uncertainty, we either live out of what we know, or create separate from it. It’s a fundamental choice.