Monday, May 23, 2016

The Bicycle

I often compare the "doings" of modern life like peddling a bicycle, just as Tara Brach points out in her book True Refuge. We spend our lives on a bicycle pedalling to get somewhere. Pedalling to get away from this moment. Pedalling to avoid feelings. Pedalling to make something happen. Pedalling to prove how great we are and "Look at me! Look where I'm headed!" -- chasing a dream, forgetting to breathe, racing away from presence. 

Meditation allows for the "un-doings" of things so we can actually become free. The undoings of our controlling behaviour,  the undoings of limited beliefs, the undoings of labels and stories that we carry about ourselves and other people, the undoings of physical tension that we carry in our bodies, the undoings of defensive armour.

We do not choose to meditate to get somewhere. 
We do not choose to meditate to turn us into something different.
We do not choose to meditate to get to some spiritual achievement.
We do not choose to meditate on a quest for self-improvement.

So when we make regular visits with ourselves - when we meditate, we should try our best to set an intention that brings us closer to ourselves. Not to get closer to a destination or a goal.

Examples of intentions may be: for spiritual realization, to seek truth in your present emotions, to calm thoughts of anxiety or distress, to address longing, to sit with unpleasant emotions for a period of time so they are safe, to simply connect with presence, to pay lovingkindness to yourself or another, to activate peace, to say hello to yourself.

Whatever the intention is -- we must do it with sincerity.
Sincerity is simply connecting with what matters most in your heart. 

"The most important thing is remembering the most important thing."
 - Zen Master Suzuki Roshi

So the analogy of the bicycle affixed to the purpose of meditation provoke the following inquiries: 

Who rides the bicycle? Who pedals the bicycle? What part of your body do you use to pedal the bicycle? What sits on the seat? What holds the handle bars? What smells the passing lilacs? What breathes in the fresh air? What sees the way? What tells us where we are going? What knows we are safe? What are the benefits to our bodies? Our souls? Our minds? 

The answer to these questions are all the parts of ourselves that we bring to the experience of life and also into meditation.

Presence. You. Your body. What you're equipped with. This moment. You. You. You. You. Who cares about anything else right now -- just YOU in presence. YOU.

To read what I've learned from meditation, read my post here.

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