>The Riding


I was on the way home from a pretty special bike ride (see the recent post on “Place”) and there had been a fair bit of hooting and hollering from the joy of the ride: muddy, wet, and cold notwithstanding. I had jumped the bike over the drainage humps, and felt the giddy liberty of mid-air; I had given it its head down short steep rocky slopes hanging on grimly; I had valued the low gears grinding back up those slopes; I had felt the rush of riding really hard along the flat pebbly sections. I had thoroughly enjoyed riding my bike.

As I rode home the last few k’s, still in the relatively quiet early morning, something else crept up on me in that peaceful time. Out there, in the dirt, it had been just me, my bike and the track, all having a great time together. Now, it was no longer the rider and the ridden, and the duality dropped away till it was just one thing – the riding. No need for an excited, congratulatory self, digging it all, but enough to be part of what was happening in that moment, fine to be nothing. No need for an observer to observe it, or a doer to do it. It just was. “When you recognise this, you will realise that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything” says Kalu Rinpoche, the Tibetan lama. “That is all.”

The experience didn’t last that long, and I drifted back to me, my bike and the road, but it was a moment of awakening. There are plenty of good things written, spoken and podcasted about non-duality by much more enlightened hearts and minds that mine. The riding, though, was an exquisite validation that when the self falls away, awareness doesn’t need to; in fact it heightens, and an ordinary rural back road early on a Saturday morning can become as sacred as any temple, anywhere, even when you are splattered with mud.


After I wrote this blog, I came across this from Jon Kabat-Zinn in Coming to Our Senses, writing about a field near his house which he walks past each day, at different times and in different seasons:

In walking these paths, there is less and less separation between me and the view when I give myself over to attending , when I allow myself to come to and to live within my senses. Subject (seer) and object (what is seen) unite in the moment of seeing. Otherwise it is not seeing. One moment I am separate from a conventional scene as described to myself in my head. The next moment, there is no scene, no description, only being there, only seeing, only drinking in through eyes and other senses so pure they already know how to drink in whatever is presented, without any direction at all, without any thought at all. In such moments, there is only walking, or standing, or only sitting ….

Yep, that’s what I’m talking’ about.


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