Peace in Meditation

Peace in Meditation

Just as Mark publishes a post on Alternatives to Sitting Meditation, I finally finished writing this entry that I started last month. I really need to watch my ISTP habits from taking over— I have a habit of starting a billion things and not finishing the majority of them. I tend to live very much in the moment and lose interest in things quickly.

Last month I started practicing Bikram\’s Yoga for the first time in almost 2 years. During my first class I found myself in the deepest meditative state than I have ever been. When I first started practicing Bikram\’s a few years ago, my mind used to race with endless thoughts of what happened during the day, what I\’m going to do later, day dreams… it was inner chaos that I could never seem to silence. I was consistent with the practice but never achieved a true meditative state. I practiced purely for the fitness aspect, but not the spiritual.

This time as I was lying in Savasana, I realized how calm and clear my mind was. It was truly a moment of magic. I was focused on my breathing, the sensations of my body… spell-bounded by the present and completely at peace.

I\’ve recently been aware that I have been immersed in meditation many times because this is what happens on my bike rides, but it was an eye-opener to be able to compare this experience with a previous Bikram\’s experience.

On the other hand, I\’ve never done Bikram\’s with such a well rested body! A couple years ago I was working out 5x more: endless bike rides, crazy intense circuit training, Grouse Grinds… I was intensely active every single day. I felt great and my energy levels were good but my legs were constantly tired, muscles tight and all the poses were always a struggle. But back then, I also loved and craved for that pain of holding a Standing Bow Pose or a Triangle Pose just a little longer, to see how much I can take. The harder it was, the more satisfied I was.

This time, I was also not too satisfied with the classes (fitness-wise) because it felt so easy even though I pushed harder than I ever did! But that was fine because I was there for another reason. I just had to keep on reminding myself that it was because my body was well rested. One of my goals this year was to slow down all aspects of my life, including fitness and in doing so, I found peace. And guess what? I am still happy with my health and how my body look like.

Meditation is when you become the observer who is fully present in the moment.

Meditation isn’t solely about the “quieting of the mind” or focusing on a single object, but it is when you are suddenly aware of everything around you due to the infinite nature of mind. This, then automatically “quiets your mind” from internal chatter because your focus is on the beauty of life around you; the sweat dripping off your nose, the rhythm of your breath, the feeling of the wind, the chatter of the birds, the feeling in your hands… When you completely immerse yourself in this state, you will feel an incredible sense of peace and awe.

You can meditate anywhere: a yoga class, taking a walk, brushing your teeth to riding your bicycle. It\’s too inconvenient for me to practice Bikram\’s consistently right now but luckily, I can still find my peace daily… on my bike.

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    Little Moments on the Bike

    Little Moments on the Bike

    Yesterday, I got on my bike for the first time in over a month. The first few cranks of the pedal was euphoria… an indescribable mash of feelings: happiness, comfort, familiarity, freedom and peace. I felt like a child who suddenly rode on two wheels for the first time by herself— so wild and free. That evening, I rode home as the last bit of sun was disappearing into the night. As I got to the crest of a hill, I looked down into the distance and saw an exquisite sea of bright-white blinking lights. CYCLISTS! All riding towards me… wherever they maybe going. The bike route sure was busy. I was elated, seeing all those souls braving the frigid and dark skies with me as the season inches closer and closer to a below freezing winter. Then this morning as I stepped outside with my bike, the crisp cold air instantly enveloped my body, chilling me to the bones yet like a breath of fresh air injected into my soul. I was suddenly alert. Reawakened. And I simply thought, \”oh wow, this feels nice!\”

    It\’s hard to be unhappy when the littlest things can put a smile on your face. When you practice gratitude, you will always notice all the small, albeit wonderful things happening around you.

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      Bike Diet, Yoga & Dogs

      Bike Diet, Yoga & Dogs

      I chose October for my annual Bike Diet because I was babysitting my favourite dog in the world and then going on vacation for the lather half of the month. I chose to sacrifice my daily bike commute since I had to bring the dog to work with me so alas, I was commuting via the evil metal box aka driving to work everyday. The month was totally worth the sacrifice so no riding for me.

      When cycle commuting is part of your daily life, it really hits you how much of a downgrade to your lifestyle it is to sit in traffic congestion as cyclists zoom by.

      Sitting in my car everyday, I found myself constantly wishing I was on my bike— and I’m NOT exaggerating! Every. Single. Day. Even when it was pouring rain, I knew I would rather be out in the elements than sitting in this stuffy little box. It takes less than 5 minutes to ride through downtown but over 10 minutes during rush hour just to get home. That is a significant difference when you compare the speed of a car versus a bicycle.

      I am all about time optimization and this I declare, IS A WASTE OF LIFE. I need to be free and outside is free.

      \"Toby!

      The upside is that I always make the most out of every situation. For the two weeks, I was settled in a nice routine: waking up at 5am everyday for Bikram’s, go home for a quick shower and to get the dog and then rushing to work. I also started to commit more time in the gym to strength training, which I seriously neglected the last two years.

      \"BTWW

      I knew this disruption from my routine would happen and was just a tiny bit anxious the month prior but I have a habit of not worrying about things until it actually happens so I just let it go. From past experience, the universe always make things work. I strongly believe in the laws of attraction and when you live with positivity and gratitude, life would always fall in place for you. If you are the type of person who is always negative, complaining or causing drama, then that is all you are going to attract. I know people with both mindsets and I definitely know which one I would rather be around. What about you?

      Bike-to-Work Week is once again coming up on October 26th. in Vancouver! I\’m out of town but I\’ll be resuming my daily cycle commuting in November, rain or shine. A survey by Bike Hub suggests that 75% of those people who try bike commuting during Bike to Work Week continue doing it in the months to follow. Fall is one of the best seasons to ride! Okay, EVERY season is is the best season to ride… are you going to commit?

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