Wednesday, February 24, 2021
I’ve been in my head a whole lot lately. Not anxious or depressed. Consumed with personal projects that I am very excited about. Inspired. And a bit overwhelmed all at the same time. I really need this Sunday solo ride. Perfectly clear morning. Intense deep blue skies. The brightest of suns making the snow sparkle like stars on a clear night. The crisp cold air, so very thin, highlighting every single thing around me. Impossible to ignore. Almost as if I’m watching a revolutionary 3D production. A few inches of fresh snow yesterday, just enough to cover the trail, creating ideal fat bike conditions. Climactic even. As far as Canadian winter days go, it doesn’t get any better than this. Pedaling into this silence, I feel the intoxicated voices in my head slowly calm down. Not really hushed. Simply lulled to sleep. Just the sound of my breath and the crunch of my tires on the packed snow. Riding back along the riverfront trail, I notice a stamped path leading out towards the lake. I turn into it. The vastness of the frozen open space calling me. I can’t resist. Last night’s snow has covered this man-made rink. Too much to play hockey on. The perfect amount to pedal on. My fat studded tires digging through the light white fluff, biting into the ice below. Out in the open, I feel so small. Insignificant. In a good way. My being here showing me my place in this world. I’m but such a tiny part of it. Trivial. Unimportant. Welcoming the boundless spaciousness surrounding me, my mind suddenly becomes speechless. Nothing left. My inner void shining under the strengthening sun gently punching me from up above. I take a deep breath and salute this winter’s peak.
Friday, February 19, 2021
above speed. I used to ride to get
faster. Now, I simply get out regularly
to be able to ride longer. Into this
void. That’s one of the feelings that I
appreciate most after long adventure rides.
The emptiness. Losing my masks. Getting my original face back. Enabling me to see my true self again. Removing all the garbage that had gotten in
the way. Just like life. Our intention should be for it to end empty. Nothing left.
No mind traffic. No more
wanting. Simple nothingness. Empty and aware. Even more than how riding makes my body feel,
what I love most is how it cleanses my mind.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Bicycles. They mean so many different things to different people. For some, bikes are a means of transportation, comfortably carrying them from point A to point B. For some, bikes are speed machines, tools that enable them to push and surpass their own limits. For others, bikes are toys, pieces of art or simply exercise apparatuses. Bikes have been all of these things for me at different points in my life. What started as a childhood fascination has ingrained itself into my soul. That feeling of the human body and machine working together in perfect harmony. Feet turning these pedals. Hands hugging these bars. Buttocks resting on this saddle. After all these years, why do I still ride? I’ve thought about this often. And my reason has definitely evolved as I age. One thing that hasn’t is how my bike brings me closer to the land. Inspiring me to feel it. Smell it. Hear it. Taste it. Even as a kid, ripping around on my BMX, I knew every sidewalk lip, every dirt jump, every hidden landscape gem around town. My world. Building jumps. Getting dirty. Endlessly exploring. Grounding. Re-connecting with mother earth. These roots run deep. Even in the dead of winter, these fat studded tires still bring me back home. What are your reasons to ride? Bicycles.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Meditation Part 4
Meditation. Part four. I have probably read about meditation more than I have actually practiced it. Some people describe periods of no mind. Blissful bouts of no thoughts whatsoever. I haven’t really had that experience yet. Maybe I will in the future? Maybe I won’t? Either way is fine. I don’t practice to achieve anything really. That’s the point. Do and be absolutely nothing. Seasoned meditators are meditating all the time. Using their minds only when necessary. Stepping out of their egos the rest of the time. I am certainly not there yet. But I do catch myself much more often when I get overwhelmed in my thoughts which still happens all the time. This heightened awareness gives me time to take a step back before reacting. I remember reading about Monks who regularly meditate on death. The practice is called Maranasati. Picturing their corpse laying motionless in a coffin. I first thought that it was a very stupid and morbid thing to do. Until I was reminded of the fact that we’re all going to die, that we’re all actually dying at the moment. And this simple realization instantly made all of my petty worries disappear. It put everything in perspective. It made this present moment the most precious thing, the only thing really. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. The time to enjoy, appreciate and love ‘what is’ is always now. My next bike ride may be my last. I must never forget this truth. And let it deepen the experience and transform my life. While working in a nursing home as a university student, I noticed 2 types of residents. Those who were bitter and those who were peacefully content. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand what made the difference. Now, I believe that the difference was in their ability to meditate. Even if they were not necessarily aware of what they were doing, it was still a form of meditation. Maybe that’s the secret to living a happy life? Maybe it’s as simple as meditating through it?