Monday, June 19, 2006

Bicycle Buddha

A Zen approach to the bicycle experience appears in a story about an old Zen master who questioned each of his five bicycling 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 responded, “You are wise, for 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 saying, “Your eyes are open, and see the world.”

The third student replied, “When I ride my bicycle I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo.” The teacher praised his pupil, “Your mind will roll with the ease of the perfectly true wheel.”

The fourth student replied, “Riding my bicycle I live in harmony with all sentient beings.” The teacher was pleased: “You are riding on the golden path of non-harming.”

Finally the fifth student replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.” The teacher then sat down at the feet of this child and said, “I am your student!”

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