This is the reason I love cycling. It’s much more than the simple action of taking me from one place to another. It does transport me from place to place with beautiful views and plenty of people to smile at, but I also spread love with every pedal forward. I love being exposed to the elements so I can look others in the eye and send them support for their suffering. I use my bicycle to explore the world in which I live in, to help others, and not to mention save the earth. Every person I meet on the road I wish them happiness and freedom. This includes all the people who honk at me or yell for me to move out of the way, may they be free as well. I love cycling because it is in the purest form, an expression of love for all who may encounter me. I’ll take the wrecks, falls, and broken bones if it means just a little more peace for those searching for happiness in the world. I love practicing mindfulness on my bike because in NYC you pretty much have to. If you lose that awareness for just a moment, the universe will remind you. It’s a process of becoming one with the bike and following the eb and flow of the road and your breathing. Letting go, and being simply on the seat, moving through the dream.
I also love not giving MTA any money and getting my exercise in on the commute. Next time you see a cyclist on the road. Smile at them.
The pain of the past;
the anticipation of the future;
The sweetness of the present;
We mustn’t be our brain’s bitch.
We liberate ourselves by simply resting our minds on the challenging feelings we experience without the usual overlay of our thoughts about how good or bad it feels, or why we feel this way, or who is to blame for how we feel. We can drop the storyline, drop the constant inner commentary, drop the ideas and concepts about what we are experiencing and instead directly experience the reality of our life as it is at any given moment. We don’t have to obsess over negative emotions and we don’t have to chase them away either—we can simply notice them the way we notice our thoughts when we meditate: with bare, brave attention.
There is a fine tuned ecology between each of us, and each of our actions has a wide effect, just like ripples from dropping pebbles in a pond. Each time we open and help someone, it has a ripple effect. Instead of adding more fear, aggression, and paranoia in the world, we’re adding more nonaggression, openness, and loving-kindness. As individuals are transformed at an inner level, the benefit spreads to their families, to their communities, and to the world.
For the rest of my life, it is my responsibility to grow in mindfulness and happiness. Each day I will expand the loving kindness I already have, and each morning I will open my wisdom-eye to see more and more deeply into the inner universal reality. I take responsibility for my life and dedicate it to others by growing strong in loving kindness and wisdom. I will serve others as much as possible.
There is no need to struggle to be free; the absence of struggle is in itself freedom. This egoless state is the attainment of buddhahood. The process of transforming the material of mind from expressions of ego’s ambition into expressions of basic sanity and enlightenment through the practice of meditation—this might be said to be the true spiritual path.
—Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Longing, felt fully, carries us to belonging. The more times we traverse this path—feeling the loneliness or craving, and inhabiting its immensity—the more the longing for love becomes a getaway into love itself. Our longings don’t disappear, nor does the need for others. But by opening into the well of desire—again and again—we come to trust the boundless love that is it’s source.
—Tara Brach in Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha.
The warrior’s decorum is this natural togetherness and calm, which comes from feeling of being in harmony with yourself and with the environment. You don’t have to try to fit yourself into situations, but situations fit naturally. When you achieve this level of decorum, then you can abandon the final vestiges of the giant backpack of habitual patterns that you have been carrying for so long to protect yourself from nature. You can appreciate nature’s own qualities, and you see that you do not need your bag of ego-centered tricks. You realize that you can live with nature, as it is, and as you are. You feel a sense of ease or looseness. You feel at home in your world.
—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche - Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
Accepting ourselves as we are, in both our sanity and our confusion, is the key that unlocks our heart. It allows us to be in the present moment just as it is, without trying to cling or push away. Accepting ourselves fully is what stops our struggle, and only when we love ourselves in this unconditional way can we also love others. Only when we love ourselves can we be lovable. Maitri has a soft quality that is open, kind, relaxed, warm and inclusive. It allows us to be who we are and let all our colors shine. We breathe easily.
- Irini Rockwell, author of The Five Wisdom Energies: A Buddhist Way of Understanding Personalities, Emotions and Relationships
I’m packing up my bags and letting go. In accepting myself as I am (the good, bad, and the ugly) I no longer need a story line to define myself. My past does not make me. The energy of the present moment displays my story. No explanation needed. Loving-kindness, understanding, and the genuine desire to help others is what is needed. I can sit here and tell my story of how I arrived here or we can get busy making a difference.
What needs to be done right now?
While you’re meditating, all kinds of thoughts arise. All kinds of things come through the mind. Let them just come through. Don’t try to say whether they are bad or for that matter particularly good. Just let them come through, as simply as you can. By letting them come through, you find that there’s a sense of openness. You don’t find your thoughts threatening or particularly helpful. They just become the general gossip of your thoughts. This traffic of your thoughts and the verbosity of your mind are simply part of the basic chatter that goes on in the universe. Just let it go through.