Can you see it?

en español

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.

Just do it!

Español

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.

It is today!!!

En español

Although the UN has established a different date for the World Bicycle Day (June 3), many cyclists celebrate such a happy day on April 19th.

The celebration began by Thomas B. Roberts, a Professor at Northern Illinois University. The date refers to the bike “trip” on LSD by Dr. Albert Hofmann in April 1945.

Many would understand why the UN didn’t like such a date. But for many riders it’s just the perfect day. Riding a bicycle may change the perspective of how a person sees the world, and life.

So, take a ride, and enjoy life!

What riding can teach us

(en español)

Sometimes I think that there may be people thinking: what is he talking about, bicycles and zen, or meditation?

Well, let me tell you that back in the 70’s there was a very popular book called “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, by Robert M. Pirsig. I didn’t read the book, since I was not interested in motorcycles, but the idea got stocked in my mind.

Then I discovered that zen was not a thing of the temple only, but a way one sees life, and the way we do whatever we do. And bicycling, not racing, but riding a bike, was an activity that allows you to be in the present moment, now, with full attention.

When I started with meditation, and trying to have a rich spiritual life, what I constantly found was the reference of a path. So I had to move, in a direction. Well, I thought, what a wonderful thing! I have a bicycle, I can ride the path. And discovered that, like practicing martial arts as I did, or drawing, I could bike the path.

A few months ago I was in the bookstore, wandering after picking the book I needed, when I spotted a little book: Mindful thoughts for cyclists, by Nick Moore. What a discovery! I was very excited. I bought it and started to read. I have given the book to other three bicycle enthusiasts. I gave the first one, even without finishing the reading, to a new friend, Cecilia. It’s a beautiful book.

At the end of the book we can read: “The awareness we can cultivate on the bike can help us to detach ourselves from desire and entrenched thought patterns and view things more objectively. It’s raining. It’s cold. This hill is steep. I am traveling at 25 miles per hour. That’s it. No value judgement, no good/bad, right/wrong. The moment is sufficient unto itself. Does it need to be about anything else?”

Clear mind

In my morning rides something has been going round and round in my head: as I explained in my last post, I’ve considered to teach less hours per week.

Well, biking surely clears my mind. Although it will mean less payment, I’m going to have more time to be an artist.

I am cleaning all the mess in my studio, from the end of the school semester. It makes me happy and ready for more drawing/painting time. I think studying the new degree has helped, but I thank my beloved old blue bicycle for all the kilometers of clear mind.

I want a new one!

It’s funny how, without really understanding why, I was looking for different models of bicycles. I was trying to find a new one.

And it happens the same with many of the things I have. Should I get a new tablet, a cellphone? It seems that we get in this continues desire for more, to replace what we have but is still working properly.

It happens with me when thinking on bicycles. There is one better. That one is more beautiful. The other folds in a smaller piece. But I have already

Today, I went out in my Raleigh Sprite. Its a bicycle from the 70’s. I like it, and has some history. Even though, I have kept on thinking of a new bicycle to replace it (a Temple bicycle, for example).

So I got out, pedaling my old Raleigh. It was a short ride. Short but very satisfying. The bike was running fine, without any noise. I was happy of taking out such a beauty.

Why I want to replace it? I like it and works well. And I thought, it’s just this stupid desire, this desease of wanting more.

The ride was a good medicine.