In the past couple of months since deciding to become a motorsports athlete (!) I've been struck time and again how driving a motorcycle brings my attention to the spiritual path.

Balance, Focus, Correction

In the past couple of months since deciding to become a motorsports athlete (!) I’ve been struck time and again how driving a motorcycle brings my attention to the spiritual path.

Balance

The first lesson from the bike is balance,  which I wrote about from a physical perspective in an earlier post.  When driving a motorcycle, if you don’t lean and bend at the appropriate times and angles, you will crash; and if you bend and lean when you should be upright you’ll achieve the same end.

In life, even the most wholesome foods eaten in excess will backfire.

Justice must be balanced with mercy and mercy with justice.

Life is a balancing act.

This scripture in my Faith about balance  also applies:

…whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. — Bahá’u’lláh

Focus

Although it’s sometimes hard to remember, every motorcyclist has been given this driving mantra:  “EYES UP”.  By this, a cyclist is reminded that where the head is turned the bike will turn; where the eyes are looking the bike will arrive.

Like many spiritual truths, this is easier to accept in principle than to practice in daily life.

Driving my motorcycle home from a lovely day on Morrow Mountain with other cyclists yesterday, the skies broke open and poured rain. Just ten miles from our final destination I fell into a fixation with a turn involving a sloppy shoulder and a mud puddle. Not looking THROUGH the turn to the road ahead,  I kept my eye on that puddle (as if it would move!) and before I knew it I was in the puddle and then down on the ground.

Author Stephen Covey made his fortune reminding people to “begin with the end in mind.” So true and yet so elusive in moments of crisis.

Do ye not look upon the beginning of the affairs; attach your hearts to the ends and results. The present period is like unto the sowing time. Undoubtedly it is impregnated with perils and difficulties, but in the future many a harvest shall be gathered and benefits and results will become apparent. When one considers the issue and the end, exhaustless joy and happiness will dawn.  —  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Correction

For the record, I’ve been told, I’ve read, I’ve seen video,  and I believe the EYES UP method of driving. More than once I’ve lapsed in the EYES UP practice and things worked out fine.

But beware. Just because you “get away” with a bad habit doesn’t mean it’s become a good one. This is the importance of corrective feedback, which I got in spades yesterday.  The tumble I took with the bike resulted in a broken shifter peg, broken blinker, bent left handle and a nasty bruise on my knee. The repair bills and recovery time will give me feedback on EYES UP for a while.

Everything of importance in this world demands the close attention of its seeker. The one in pursuit of anything must undergo difficulties and hardships until the object in view is attained and the great success is obtained. This is the case of things pertaining to the world. How much higher is that which concerns the Supreme Concourse! That Cause involves every favor, glory and eternal bliss in the world of God. The seeker after the great guidance and eternal happiness necessarily will encounter difficulties. He must be patient under such circumstances. The chosen believers of the past quaffed the chalice of suffering and sank deep in the ocean of trials until they attained to that blessed station and sublime beatitude. —  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

About Tamela Rich

Author Tamela has extensively traveled the U.S. and Canada, delivering her message to Pack Light | Travel Slow | Connect Deep. Her keynotes and workshops include life lessons she has learned through chance encounters on the road.

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4 comments

  1. Dmdougherty266

    So sorry to hear about your fall…:-( But I can relate to how it can change your perspective about life, and what is really important.

    And S. Covey's begin with the end in mind………. Easier said than done, I think! When the woman turned in front of me, all I thought was I am going to die. I had the safety class, and ridden cross country twice and not a proble, and the 7 miles from home, and this woman said she saw me, just thought she could beat me across the intersection. I keep telling myself, that I will know better next time, but I won't know until and if it happens. Hope you are back on your ride soon.

  2. Dmdougherty266:

    Whew, I think both our stories illustrate what they say about crashes happening close to home when you're tired and perhaps not as quick to react to a changing environment. Are you still riding?

    As for me, I'm fine. I would hate to have lost as much skin off my foot as the leather that came off my boot, though! “Dress for the crash, not for the ride.”

    Thanks for reading the blog and for sharing your experience.

    Tamela

  3. Well written. I wasn't aware of the mud puddle accident . Your point was made and deepened when you had the manifistations passages added . Keep up the good work. I will stay tuned.

  4. Well written. I wasn't aware of the mud puddle accident . Your point was made and deepened when you had the manifistations passages added . Keep up the good work. I will stay tuned.

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