Motorcycle Meditation

My ride home from work today was diverted due to a pretty bad motorcycle collision.

It was on a tight corner that I haven’t quite got the hang of myself, where a lot of traffic is turning onto a road that leads to a tunnel under the river. My heart goes out to the rider who was injured (if not worse) and it has made me think again about how important it is to be vigilant at all times when riding.

I’ve been researching helmets again. I won’t get into the discussion on which one to buy in this post, I mention it because I came across a very interesting theory on webbikeworld.com’s helmet FAQ page:

“The act of riding is a form of meditation, because the concentration that’s required to safely ride a motorcycle tends to focus the mind in a way that eliminates other mental distractions that might interfere with the mission.

This creates a single-mindedness that, in effect, displaces the continuous stream of thoughts that normally flow through our consciousness.

Thoughts about what to eat, who to meet, and worries about the common stresses of everyday life, such as pressures from work and home, disappear from our minds during the ride, because the concentration that’s necessary to focus on the ride pushes those thoughts far into the background.

The result is that the mind becomes refreshed after a ride just like it would after a session of formal meditation or a relaxing vacation.” (webbikeworld.com)

I had never thought about motorcycle riding in this way before, however it is very true. You have to focus on the road, other road users and pedestrians darting into traffic constantly. There is no time for daydreaming. On the days I ride into work, I am much calmer and more awake when I get to my desk compared to when I take the tube.

My annual season ticket for London public transport runs out on Thursday. Of course I am not going to renew it, I will pay for the days when I take public transport separately and try to ride in for my dose of daily meditation most days. It is one more sign that my days of 9-5 office working are nearly over. I have another viewing of the flat tomorrow, no offers yet so I hope this guy likes it enough to make an offer.

The flat selling is my biggest stress at the moment. I really would prefer to have someone purchase it before I fly back to Canada to start trip preparations in earnest. If you know anyone who would like a modern two bedroom flat in Greenwich – please send them this link.