Mindfulness Cycling 8/14

First I’d like to start with this quote:

“… If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.”

This comes from Cult Fit. Thanks Cult!


I am really enjoying this series because writing it forces me to re-read the mindfulness trainings over and over again which is really helpful especially when I have some personal difficulty.

I do realize that this is all in my head as I someone in my position has always had a position of privilege which protected me against real problems.

This week we talk about:

The Eighth Mindfulness Training: True Community and Communication

“Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech.”

I can think of three places where communication matters, which is between cyclists and motorists on the road, between motorists and cyclists off the road, and between cyclists as a community.

I have found that the best on road communication is found in the front wheel of a car: if they are moving, I yield.

Second best is my hands: I point to where I want to go as well as waving cars past me as I yield to them.

Off road, motorists seem to want to vent to cyclists a great deal. Though their anger is totally out of proportion to what cyclists normally do, I feel that it is my role to listen.

This is very depressing and also draining so overall, I tend to conceal the fact that I like to ride a bicycle, and to not talk about cycling too much. It’s kind of a pity that it has to be this way, but you see the looks of contempt on people’s faces, even those who think of themselves as “nice people.”

Plus they say patronizing and ignorant things which totally ignore the fact that cycling is super-awesome for many, many reasons.

Thus, it’s best to not talk about it, too much. However, I must say, that in the past few weeks, I have gotten very much positive feedback when I let it slip that I ride a bicycle for more than play.

Finally, however, there’s the cycling community which is a hot mess.

We are at each other’s throats over “taking the lane” versus building infrastructure. We fight over clothing styles…Really? Really? How far from high school and it’s still about clothes. 🙂

We argue over which type of bicycle to wear and if flip-flops are “appropriate” footwear for cycling. (I think yes).

Oh, and helmets. Yeah! Let’s argue over useless headgear instead of enjoying the wind in our hair (or on our bald heads).

We can fight over all kinds of stupid stuff, but this is probably a waste of time. I am all into deep listening, but overall, I keep hearing the same stuff over and over again, and this is frustrating.

“Knowing that true community is rooted in inclusiveness and in the concrete practice of the harmony of views, thinking and speech, we will practice to share our understanding and experiences with members in our community in order to arrive at a collective insight.”

I am happy that there are inclusive communities out there, but the cycling community, for some reason, seems to divide itself into smaller and smaller groups.

So at this point, outside this blog, I try to listen more than I talk, and I don’t have much to share unless people have questions. Overall, I just don’t like talking about cycling, too much if we aren’t getting to the next level.

“Whenever difficulties arise, we will remain in our Sangha and practice looking deeply into ourselves and others to recognize all the causes and conditions, including our own habit energies, that have brought about the difficulties.”

This part, I totally agree with. Almost 100% of my problems are caused by me, but it’s nice to see a reminder on this.

“We will not behave as a victim but be active in finding ways to reconcile and resolve all conflicts however small.”

This is a great way to end it. Too often, in my internal monologue, I do think of myself as a victim. It’s nice to see that there is an alternative.


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