Meditation is a very popular technique being used by millions around the globe. It is about 4000 years old, at least. In the last few years, we have seen meditation build its presence as a lifestyle trend. However, despite this very few people are aware of what meditation really is. Unfortunately, I am no expert on this subject either. There have been many debates on how meditation signifies a clear mind, digital detox and the calmest brain state. However, there have been several theoretical and electronic intrusions such as meditation apps, guided meditations, meditations for specific intentions like kindness, creativity etc. breaking this belief.
‘Health and Yoga’ defines Meditation as awareness. “Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’. It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns.” So, meditation isn’t only a relaxed state of mind. It is a state of intense concentration on one specific thing/object or an activity that puts one in a calmer state. As long as it is not on our depleting bank account balance – we are good to go.
Life has a way of throwing a few inexcusable experiences at us. How we handle them is different for each one of us. In the last few years, meditation as a practice is being explored in a very aggressive form to confront such eventful occurrences in a more practical way. Today, there are a plethora of apps and exercises pertaining to specific purposes that help people achieve the desired result. However, if you ask a motorcyclist – they have their own mantra for controlling their minds that keep leap-frogging from one thought to another. There’s a saying by Dan Aykroyd, “You do not need a therapist if you own a motorcycle, any kind of motorcycle!” For the passionate bike riders, motorcycling sure feels like meditation. It may not be the exact calm brain state that meditation is said to create – it can still be very calming and effective in controlling the ‘irrelevant’ thoughts.
According to a few articles, riding a motorcycle is 10% hands and feet, 90% mind and eyes. It requires immense awareness. This is how motorcycle riding impacts your awareness level – you pay attention to the smallest of things – from the buzz of the engine to feeling the cold windy breeze on the skin to keeping an eye on your surroundings for the tiniest of ‘obstacle’ emerging from nowhere to head on a spinning motion to look for the oncoming vehicles. The mind is completely immersed in the present moment. This is unlike driving a car where the mind tends to wander quite a bit to either the past or the future or the prioritized worries – flaring up the emotions to a higher level – happiness, anxiety, fear et al.
“The motorcycle enables the perfect relationship between rhythmic movement and internal stillness, drawing out the physical life force like no other.” – John Metzger, Meditation by Motorcycle – Ride Your Carbon Footprint to the Apex of Enlightenment.
Bike riders in their blogs and interviews have discussed how long rides on a highway or early morning motorcycle trips have been very therapeutic. Biking tends to release those ‘feel good’ hormones that have the ability to improve mood and diminish pain or agony. Motorcycle riding ties the rider to the present moment leaving no space or room for apprehensions or an exhaustive analysis of everyday problems. It is an activity that demands 200% attention.
This is what motorcycle meditation is all about and I think this holds true for other activities as well. These can range from writing, archery, games like golf, chess, Sudoku etc. – whatever one is extremely passionate about. I am a writer. When I write on a subject I truly associate with, I drown out everything in my surrounding. Writing puts me in a ‘super’ meditative state. I only connect with words and thoughts related to the topic.
There is a reason you will never find a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist’s office but you might find a psychiatrist riding one. Next time you go on a motorcycle meditative journey – do write to us about your experience. If you don’t own a bike – rent one from Ontrack, a monthly bike rentals company. Not only can you go on your meditative trip but use the bike for city commuting for the entire month! Connect with our customer support to know more about our bike rental services.