An old friend of mine has an intense interest in eastern philosophies. Sometimes refers to my bike commute as my meditation. She didn’t know me back in the day when I ran ten miles per day. I used to embrace running for my mind more than for my body. For those of you who think I am “chill” now, you’d think I was an icebox back then.
My friend has a point. Since my bike commute doesn’t involve a nonstop war with cars, I can zone out during my ride. Often friends pass me and say hello and I don’t realize it until they are past. Sometimes I get a little carried away. This morning I rode to my physical therapy appointment. About 1 1/2 miles into the ride, I encountered a hill. Not a big one but one that requires an honest effort. I started to spin and my mind drifted from the effort. Spin, breathe, spin, breathe.
I looked up and there, not ten feet in front of me, was a woman walking a dog.
Good thing she wasn’t a garbage truck.
That little trance is a place I go often. My friend is right; my commute is my meditation. There is no doubt at all that my mood is much better when I am not fighting the cold and wind and rain and just spinning along with my mind disconnected by the repetitive motion of my legs and lungs. It’s the sort of thing I can’t consciously bring about. It’s a natural side effect from the simple task of going from point A to B under my own power.
I love my meditatiion. I love my bike commute.