12 July 2016

Thought of the Day - Zen Edition

I read this earlier today and it resonated. It's been floating around on the innerwebs for several years, but like I said, today it struck a chord. 

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"
The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the student, saying, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do."
The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path." The teacher commended the student, "Your eyes are open and you see the world."
The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."
The fourth student answered, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings." The teacher was pleased and said, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."
The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, "I am your disciple."
Riding is my meditation, when my mind is cluttered, and there is too much weighing me down, it is freeing to get on my bike and focus on the sound of the tires on the gravel, the chain on the sprockets, my labored breathing as I climb because I am out of shape. I could drive into work, and deal with traffic and finding a place to park. Or, I could take the bus. It's easy, conveniently close to both my place of "work" and home. But then I would miss out on riding. Sometimes riding your bike is all you need.

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