Motoette -in forward motion

The present is to ride….and the ride is to be present.

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“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha.

As motorcyclist, we know that to be the most proficient in riding you have to be in the now, to think of nothing else but what in going on with you, the road and the bike. Right here, right now, at this moment in time, it is all that matters.

If you ask any motorcyclist why they ride, one of their first responses will be ” it puts me in the moment.” Which usually follows with “riding gives me a free feeling.” It’s the philosophy that brings us together as motorcyclist, whether you ride a sport bike, cruiser or dualsport.  So, why is it so difficult to live our daily lives in the now, to focus our minds on our actions just like when we’re on the bike?

Although, I don’t practice Buddhism, I have learned that this is the central practice of Buddhism, the importance of living in the present moment.  It’s the simplest concept to understand, yet the most difficult to master.  It has been said that monks spend entire lifetimes sitting in seclusion, meditating in silence, in order to learn to be present.  The reward: enlightenment.  We might not be willing or able to devote our lives to following this spiritual path, but by consciously making an effort to live in the moment, we can help to eliminate stress, regret and fear to become happier, more productive people.

The source of strife is taking belief in conditioned phenomena, we take refuge in views and opinions through attachment, we hold on too much to the past and look too much to the future.  By teaching our minds to be present, we must come to observe and enquire into our mind.  To begin to notice our mind, what it does,  and how it reacts.  Instead of just letting our thoughts jump around from one thing to another in a continuous stream of blind activity, we need to say stop!  To be here in the now, to be clear minded and void of past and future.

How do you accomplish this seemingly simple task in a world of multi-tasking? Start by noticing the mundane things that you do in everyday life. If you are driving, simply drive! Don’t worry if little Suzie will be late for school, Monday’s meeting or what another driver is doing behind you.  If you are breathing, then simply breathe. Notice each breath coming in and going out, feel the air that sustains you.  If you are sitting, simply sit, pull your mind back to right now.  Notice your surroundings.  Notice your feelings.  Notice your suffering.  Notice, but do not worry.  And just be. 

Cindi

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November 2, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. Cindi, you have taken in the Buddhist principles very nicely and written about them eloquently here. We all have a still, peaceful place within, if we are willing to slow down and access it. Enlightenment is not just for monks, truly.

    When I ride, I always come back to the present moment. Riding reminds myself of my meditation practice and IS a meditation practice in itself, as should be all the other things we do in our daily lives.

    For more information on mindfulness in everyday living, read “Peace is Every Step” by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. There is even a chapter on mindful driving!

    Comment by Liz Petersen | November 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. Great post Cindi! It is hard for us to live our everyday lives in the moment. It’s so easy to constantly dwell on the past and work for the future that we tend to forget what is happening now…
    I’m guilty of this as well…
    BTW, I love the picture you included!

    Comment by Maria aka PartyGurle | November 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. Great post! I’ve felt the same way about riding, but you put it so eloquently I’ll have to bookmark this so I can refer to it later! BTW, I found your blog through the “local” function in Tweed (a piece of twitter client software)

    Comment by Ian Hopper | December 7, 2009 | Reply


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