Mindfulness Cycling 6/14

Originally, I was going to call this post, “Raging Cyclist” and cover all the emotions in cycling. I think I’ll still do this, but this happened to connect with the next Mindfulness Training: The Sixth Mindfulness Training: Taking Care of Anger

I read this here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Urban-Cyclists-Survival-Guide/product-reviews/B007F83M5K/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop/176-1654144-3910529?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R1IB3T82G497DY

“Atomic Grrrrrl (Brooklyn, NY USA)

…Let me explain: there’s a huge problem in the cycling community right now, one that threatens to ruin the cycling movement in this country if it isn’t nipped in the bud. For some reason, there’s a small contingent of people who develop into the Raging Cyclist. This is a person who has a bad experience or two with a motorist, pedestrian, etc. Or maybe, due to personal problems, he or she has decided to play his frustrations out on the road. Next thing you know, this person develops an overtly negative, almost poisonous hatred of anyone who isn’t a cyclist. An “attitude” then develops in which he sees himself in some type of “battle zone” where everyone’s an “enemy”, everything’s personal, everyone’s out to “get him”. Next thing you know, he develops the type of road rage where he’s screaming randomly at pedestrians, smashing windshields, or getting into verbal confrontations with motorists.”

I love this because I thought, “Yes”. I was this person. Thanks Atomic Grrrrrl, if that’s your real name. 🙂

She continues:

“I don’t have to tell you why Raging Cyclists like that are terrible. For one, they give the cycling community a bad name. Two, they give motorists who are already “on the edge” all the justification they need to run down an innocent cyclist who may be the most courteous person in the world but for all the motorist knows, is no different than the person who smashed his side mirror the other day. Three, they’re a bad influence on newbies, who are taught to become as angry as they are. This results in more “angry cyclists” to swell their ranks, who then act poorly when they ride, which further denigrates the community in the eyes of non-cyclists.”

For some reasons, this is something to be concerned about, but as Russell Brand said, “The only thing you should really worry about is getting enough to eat and being kind to others…and perhaps some sex.”

“The Urban Cyclist’s Survival Guide should be commended for trying to do something–however minor– to combat this problem by stressing a zen-like attitude when riding.”

I love it because this is exactly what I decided to do after getting buzzed by four cars in a row right in front of Disney Land. I was so scared that I thought that they’d have Mickey Mouse out there giving me mouth to mouth.

I find that if I totally ignore cars, emotionally, espescially those who buzz me by passing two closely (Thanks Jerry Brown!), I feel better. Plus, I noticed that in general, the cars actually get freaked out. Not the cars, really, but the motorists inside. At least they give me more room after this.

Let’s see what the Buddhists have to say about anger.

“When anger manifests, we are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful breathing or mindful walking to acknowledge, embrace, and look deeply into our anger.”

That’s nice, but I find that I actually will just ignore the anger. I don’t know if it’s practice or what, but usually this works.

It didn’t that time that guy deliberately hit me, but then again, that was another less to me that if _I_ had not reacted, the day would have gone better.

I feel that any reaction at all to assholes is a win for them. If it hurts me that they are so callous imagine what it does to them when they try to “teach me a lesson” aka give me a good scare and it does not work.

Also, the Buddhists believe that your emotional state when you die plays a huge role in where you will end up. That is, if you are caught up in anger before you die, you’ll go to hell. I keep this in mind when people are buzzing me. For those of you who do not believe in superstitious nonsense, I can’t help you. I learned, a few years ago that there are bad delusions and good ones…

More from Buddhism:

“We know that the roots of anger are not outside of ourselves but can be found in our wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in ourselves and others.”

Yes! I love this line.

“We know that the roots of anger are not outside of ourselves but can be found in our wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in ourselves and others.”

This can work. It takes years, but you, too, can have less anger.

One thing in this training I did not like was the whole notion of anger as being the enemy.

I like the idea that all of our emotions are assets including fear, anger, and even depression.

It’s all in how you use the emotion.

Also, Thich Nat Hahn had said in an earlier book, _Being Peace_, that when you are angry, you are your anger. So to fight the anger is to fight yourself. This calmed me down even more so.

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