Some people walk to introspect, I ride my bicycle.
I write about mindfulness and meditation, and my reflections on the path.
Now you can buy me a coffee, to keep the good mood. https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Bikingthepath
A Zen practitioner, mindfulness coach (Happiitude) in a spiritual path of detachment, decluttering, meditation and health. Member of the International Satsang Association / Practicante de zen, coach de mindfulness (Happiitude) y facilitador en desarrollo humano, en un camino espiritual hacia el desapego, la meditación y costumbres más saludables. Miembro de la International Satsang Association ( https//pedaleandoelsendero.wordpress.com )
I will start a workshop on mindfulness next week. Some ask what is it that many people are talking about mindfulness.
Well, there are many good things about practicing mindfulness, but I can tell you that one that amaze me is the “oh!” or the “aha!” moment.
Let me explain. The continuous practice allows you to be more conscious. Conscious about what you’re feeling, how you are confronting situations in your life.
That’s when the “oh!” moment gets in. Suddenly, a situation makes you feel bad, or angry. But you realise that. So, instead of reacting to the situation, you are conscious of how it makes you feel. You make a pause, could be a small but conscious pause, and then you say to yourself: aha! I’m feeling angry, but – for example – it’s not the person that makes me feel angry, but what he or she said. So I can act according to the situation. I may say: I don’t like the way you are talking, I feel angry.
In doing that, one can approach the situation without an angry reaction, but knowing where you’re standing, and find a better way to solve it.
It could be a situation in which I am judging someone. The “oh!” moment gets in, and I can see that it is my own perspective that gets in the way of understanding other.
So, besides being a practice that help me with my attention, my health, my wellbeing, for me the “oh!” moment is a treasure.
My mirror is very kind with me. Every day, when I get ready to start, my mirror says to me that I look great: well shaved, my hair combed and looking neat. But when I see a photo of me, definitely, I can see an old man.
Recently, I was listening to an interview where a woman was talking about being natural, aging naturally. I have seen people trying to cover up their aging process.
My wife decided, a couple of years ago, to stop dyeing her hair, because it was painful. Some were thinking that it was something shocking. How could she be that brave by looking like an “old lady”? She doesn’t look like that. She looks great!
Being old doesn’t mean you stop doing things. It doesn’t stop you looking for new projects, or the chance of learning. I may have a different rhythm, I may like different things.
I’m still living my time, because THIS is my time. I might remember “the old times”, but I am living, today, my time.
This is a view from a corridor at my new work. Most of the weekdays a arrive before 7 in the morning. Usually, that was the time for meditation.
I’m happy with this work, teaching at another university. But it changed my schedule a lot. So I’m in the process of giving space and time to what I do in a regular basis.
Life offers us with reminders that change is something always present. In my last post I was talking about rituals and life. Somehow, they allowed me to have some order in life, one that stumbles with change.
So now I’m embracing change, testing when is better to do something, and when to do something else. At first I felt some discomfort, but as soon as I realised that, I drew a smile in my face and accepted the new situation.
It’s easy to forget that change is a constant. I tend to feel at ease in my confort zone, and be surprised with change. Impermanence is a fact of life, and to accept it makes the journey great.
I was reading recently that “Rituals bring comfort when we stumble under the pressures and demands of everyday existence… Knowing how to live well is a cultivated habit, and rituals can help.” (L’art de la simplicité, Dominique Lorean.).
With this I remembered the practice of daily meditation, a ritual I adopted as part of my life. A ritual that, by being such, stops to be a repetitive action.
How is possible that the habit of meditating becomes something so useful for a good life? Well, this simple act let me be attentive to myself, attentive to what happens, attentive to what I perceive. It allows me to accept myself, as I am, and work from what I know, to live well. It gives me with what I need to be able to decide and choose. It let me live from a perspective of someone that is not in a rush, in a pace that makes me savor what I live.
It doesn’t make me a different person, or a better one. It’s as if I can function within my capacities and potential. So rituals may turn a simple chore into something important, that you live consciously.
Just like my folding bike, that lately has been left by itself at a corner, my spiritual practice has been let by itself, in silence, without public eye
It has been a time of spiritual silence. By this I don’t mean no practice, but I have kept it by my own. There were things to be experienced, and kept for me, as if I was recharging myself to have something to share out.
Now, like the vegetation in spring, I make a comeback. I will be publishing again and share with you.
I have been on a bicycle since I remember. Of course there have been times when I didn’t ride one, like when I lived in London. But for must of my life, I have enjoyed riding one.
For the past two months, due to knee arthrosis, I hardly walked. I’m using a cane to help go through daily tasks. At first, I didn’t like the idea. “I’m not that old”, “I’m going to look as an elderly person”. But actually, it’s really a great object. And, after all, I’m 64, I am old.
At first, I was thinking that my knee wouldn’t recover. It was really painful, and looked like there was no improvement. But today was the day: I got up on my bicycle and ride for 5.5 km. A smooth ride, no hurry, not much effort.
The feeling was incredible. To be on the machine, feeling the air on my face, pedaling again.
I will be using the cane for a time, but knowing that tomorrow I may be riding, makes me very happy.
At the beginning of October I had the chance to go back and stay at Die Quelle, the house and quarters of The International Satsang Association.
We had our Board of Trustees annual meeting, and the General assembly for the association. But, also, the chance to talk with Ishpriya, our founder, and with all the members of the Board of Trustees.
There’s a place in the house, the cave, that allows you to connect within, to connect with the Source. During my stay, I had the chance to do a morning and night meditation with my peers. So the possibility to some silence, a walk through the woods, or nature contemplation was possible. It’s always enriching to get away from daily life and have some silence.
Soon I will be telling you more about the association.
I’m staying, for a few days, in a house in Dechantskirchen, Austria, up in a hill. In the morning, I usually watch outside my window, to get the feeling of the new day. And having a different view is interesting.
But even if I see through the same window, every day I can see something different. The light, the tree leaves, the weather, all have unique characteristics that can be appreciated.
So today, I looked out of the same window for the second day in a row, and had the chance of see the image presented here. I can see the trees near the window, down the hill, and to the horizon. The beauty of the clouds, a pale orange light between them and the horizon line, and some rain far away.
I take a look out of my window every morning, and I can see a different view. If you let yourself to watch what is outside, with attention, you may appreciate the small differences, with awe.
You may be wondered by a new view, and I thank the opportunity, but we don’t need it to be amazed by what we have in front of us.
A few days ago, we were enjoying an afternoon tea and chatting. Someone said that she couldn’t make time to exercise. You know, take the decision, getting ready, and actually doing it.
Some days later, she was very happy, cause she started with her program. She said that it was like doing the bed (she read the book “Make your bed”, by William H. McRaven), very easy, “Just do it! Make yourself do what you want to do”.
Many of our chores, things we have to do or want to do, are done because we decide to do them. Choose one thing, say when you are going to do it, and keep up with it. Stop asking why, or doing something else instead. Just be prepared and do it.
The same happens with meditation, or riding the bicycle. I know it, I’ve been there. I have been ready for a ride, but decided to do something else. Or I have turned off the alarm in the morning, started thinking about getting ready for my morning meditation, and be overwhelmed by the huge task ahead….and going back to my dreams.
It’s surprising how decision and focus can make in our lives. Just plan ahead, get ready without much thinking, and do the task.