The Bike Ride as Reset Button

One of the common misconceptions about certain types of meditation is that the ‘goal’ is to ‘empty your mind of all  thought. The method is to find blank mind through a process of focusing on breath, i.e. the present moment. This is a VERY simplified description, but instagram only gives me 2200 characters, and I’ve got more to say, dig?

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It is difficult to maintain this level of focus for long periods of time. Your thoughts scream in and totally screw shit up. Letting streams of thought that we would normally follow ad infinitum to pass and ’starting over’ with the breath/moment is the exercise. This repeated ‘restart’ action is the Practice itself and the skill you are trying to build.

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We all have a Path we are on. I don’t mean this is the spiritual, mystical, voodoo sense, but in what we want to accomplish and how we strive to conduct ourselves in the World. Goals, habits to form or break, etc. 

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When you are meditating you break focus and start to think, to follow your thoughts down rabbit holes. The hardest part is not to chastise yourself: “Wow. I totally suck ass at this. I’m terrible.” Let those thoughts go, WITHOUT beating yourself up, and return to the moment. Starting over. And over. And over. And over.

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We are ALL going to fuck up. I did. I got off my Path. Was eating like crap, not getting proper sleep – just generally not paying attention to what the hell I was doing. My cart was completely off the PATH.

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We beat ourselves up, feel bad, ashamed, disappointed. And that’s what I was feeling. So – even though I thought I didn’t really want to – I went for a bike ride. That was the reset button. Returning from the ride, all the fuckups were history. I realized that I literally was no longer the same person who had made those mistakes. I had started over.

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Thats how life rolls. You go through it and you screw up. We all have and we are all going to continue to do so. It is inevitable. It’s how you address these moments that will determine your level of satisfaction and contentment.

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For now, I’m back on my Path. Until I fuck up again. Which I am 100% sure I will. And then I will simply start over.

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