Forward balance

Morning, North Rim Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Morning, North Rim Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

the wisdom of bike riding

Delaying action until one has determined the wisest choice of procedure makes sense in managing the practical aspects of one's life. A person only needs a few experiences of going off "half-cocked" and having a disastrous outcome to become cautious. This caution can have a tendency to overcorrect, and we can become stuck in a paralysis of indecision, afraid to move forward. Some people can squander their entire lifetimes in this static netherworld.

Think about riding a bicycle. We pedal forward, and our body adjusts to the momentum, and before we know it, we are riding, making millions of micro-adjustments unconsciously and enjoying the breeze. If we stay in the moment, we can take actions as they come, not over anticipating non-existent dangers. We can actually begin to get pleasure from the process of riding, rather than cowering in fear of bad outcomes. If I make a mistake and fall and skin my knee, I don't over-react by vowing never to ride again. I get up, dress my wound, and seek the delicious freedom of riding again.

This is how consciousness evolves. Forward movement is key in attaining balance. We want to be able to trust the data we receive from nature to make the right decision, so we meditate. Twice daily we sit for about twenty minutes and calm the endless negative chatter that distracts us. We don't judge the outcome of a given meditative experience; we just just move forward. About 15 minutes after meditating, we can observe how we are feeling. In my experience and in the experience of most of my students, we feel better, calmer, more able to trust the data we are given in the moment to carry on with our day.

Balance isn't something we consciously work at. It is a quality that we enter into as a result of continual surrender. We surrender the need to have control, for the small "s" self (ego) to be the judge, jury, and executioner. We identify instead with the larger "S" Self (nature or God) and are able to trust the finer level of feeling, or intuition.

When we fall off the bike or temporarily stop riding for one reason or another, we don't waste valuable time beating ourselves up or feeling guilty, we just get back to the bike, to meditation, to forward movement again.

My trusty Marin.

My trusty Marin.