Overview of 2020 Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage 2020 Spiritual Theme
With the support of our teachers this year we will explore the concentration (Samadhi) factors of the Noble Eightfold path: Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration. In order to understand these elements of the path it is useful for us to remember that they are part of the Noble Eight-Fold Path. This path also includes:
(Virtues) Practiced on last year’s ride:
- Wise Speech
- Wise Action
- Wise Livelihood
(Wisdom) To be practiced on next year’s ride:
- Wise View
- Wise Intention
During last year’s Pilgrimage we explored the “Virtues” of how we are in the World and next year we will focus on cultivating “Wisdom”. This “Path” that is spoken of can be seen as both internal and external. We have this Eight-Fold Path within us and we encounter it wherever we go. The Path can also be seen as linear and circular. It builds upon previous foundations and you can also enter the Path right where you are. That’s the beauty and the Genius. The Eight-Fold Path is the Buddha’s articulation of how to become liberated from suffering. How we become free. Free to be genuinely Happy and to have the capacity to serve others with Compassion.
We can apply Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration to formal Meditation Practice and our moment to moment engagement with the World. An exciting and humbling realization is that our “Practice” is ongoing and available at any time.
DharmaWheels offers a unique opportunity for continuity practice. Whenever we get on our bikes, we have the opportunity to practice these 3 qualities. Our Wise effort would be the training we have engaged in, the route we have chosen for ourselves, and then on our ride how hard we pedal. There will be moments to rise out of the saddle climbing a hill, others for finding an even cadence, and then a time to coast or stop for a rest.
Our Wise effort also includes our attitude towards the challenges and opportunities that arise along the way. Can we be with the sensations of riding our bike at the cadence and power called for in the moment without resisting?
We can practice Wise Mindfulness while we are cycling by paying attention to our breath, our thoughts, our feelings, the road, the sounds, the other vehicles or animals on the road. Mindfulness while cycling includes a wide view of what is happening in our field of experience.
We can practice Wise concentration by simply being a cyclist. This includes the visceral sensation of sitting on our bike, the circular sensation of pedaling, moment to moment balance. Like in Meditation we can use the experience of our breath to anchor and ground our concentration.
When these 3 qualities of Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration come together in your lived experience then there becomes an embodiment of Samadhi.
Without thinking about this as ideas your Effort becomes instinctual, your Mindfulness is alert and welcoming of all experience and your Concentration is honed and gentle. You are simply and wonderfully a cyclist breathing air, moving along the edge of the Earth sporting a great big benevolent smile. You are smiling because you are at one with what you are doing. You experience the interdependence you have with the environment, and the empowering experience of moving yourself forward through space with grace, nobility, and surrender.
Practicing the (Samadhi) Factors of Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration is possible while meeting the World in all its beauty and in its vulnerable suffering. Whether we are cooking dinner, speaking with our partners, or engaging with the World through our chosen Vocations this degree of connection and oneness (Samadhi) is possible.
Our formal (Meditation) and informal practices have the potential to lead us into this lived experience and embodiment of the Dharma. We invite you to Ride, Practice and Cultivate the Samadhi Factors of Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration “On Our Own Together”.
As a collective group of Pilgrims with a range of cycling and hiking skills and Buddhist knowledge, we support each other on the spiritual path and physical trails and roadways.