On the Path there are only steps (even pedaling a bike is a kind of stair-stepping motion). Misssteps? I don’t think so. Only increasing awareness as we twist and turn on our path.
Yesterday I took a ride on the bike path from the family home in West Tisbury, through the state forest out to the unbelievably cute little Martha’s Vineyard airport. On the way there I set an intention … to feel as if I was 15, when I used to ride a bike all the time.
One thing for sure about riding a bike –– from the perspective of the saddle, looking out over the handlebars, there is no difference in the view as seen by my 62 year old self and my 15 year old self. This is super powerful.
Riding a bike for me is a way to connect easily, and in a deep physical way, to that aspect of my essential self that lives and moves about here in this physical world. Bike riding is an important grounding practice for a me, a guy who is essentially an air-head (lol, a friendly swat at my interest in spacious stillness and not-doing / being).
But hell! There is a lot to do! And in this place the doing gets done by moving atoms around by one means or another.
Pedaling a bike is an activity that is nearly inactive –– the endless circular motion of the pedals, cranks, gears and wheels. The parts moving, causing forward motion, but staying in the same place relative to each other.
The bicycle, like N.O.W., is a lovely transcendence of duality. The bicycle looks like two wheels moving though space, but it offers an experience of Oneness –– oneness with the body, the machine, the earth and the air.
Yesterday I had a breakthrough. I’m a cyclist again!
Oh, a thought for the day? This morning’s reading from my deck of virtual cards:
Lau Tzu, The Tao Te Ching (as translated by Stephen Mitchell):
Act without doing; work without effort.
Think of the small as large and the few as many.
Confront the difficult while it is still easy;
accomplish great tasks by a series of small acts.
The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.