Monday, September 14, 2009

Meditation on a Bike

I rode a few hundred miles yesterday on a motorcycle. It was a fine early fall day with sun, coffee, forests, shade, smells of cedar, pine, rivers and meadows. Washington State Highway 410 is designated an All-American Road for it's beauty. It's also one of the most popular routes for motorcycle riders, as I learned yesterday.

I also learned to not follow cars too close and how to use my front brake. I was following two cars around a sharp corner near the top of the pass going about 35 mph and the girl driving the lead car decided she needed to make a quick stop to look around. I locked up my back wheel and started to go a little sideways before I got the front brake engaged.

That brings me to the point of the title. When you are on a motorcycle about all you can think about is riding safely. There's no time to think about what you did yesterday or what you will do tomorrow. There's enough time to smell and feel the open air, sun, shadows, the sound and vibration of the bike and engine. You are in the moment.


I've been thinking that when people ask me what I do my answer will be, "I'm a student of the good life with a focus on happiness."

We would all benefit from some introspection on what makes life good for us. There's a distinction between having fun and being happy. There's a lot of ways to have fun. There are a few simple (not easy) rules for being happy. Work hard, love one another, be kind to all living things and yourself.

Tom Barrett over at the Interlude Retreat has a mediation this week on The Good Life.

A pretty good book from Utne Reader on this topic, Goodlife: Mastering the Art of Everyday Living, is available used for 47 cents on Amazon.