At the beginning of the year I set a goal for myself to meditate more. I’d read about the benefits of mindfulness and I definitely wanted to implement the practice into my every day routine. When I got started it was tough, but I kept reading and discovered walking meditation. I was pleasantly surprised to learn there were a lot of similarities between riding my motorcycle and practicing walking meditation.
One of the biggest similarities I find with riding and walking meditation is how present I am when I do both. I’ve been walking through my neighborhood early in the day, and when I do I mix up my concentrations for the journey. For example, sometimes I brainstorm a creative idea for work, or I’ll focus on taking in my surroundings.
On occasion, if I’m particularly stressed out, I’ll commit myself to walking until I have a solution. This is something I’ve also done in the past, but with my motorcycle. I used to think it was magic how much better I’d feel after a ride, but now I kind of feel like it’s just another form of meditation: riding meditation.
Some other likenesses I’ve found between the two also include increased focus, released endorphins, mindfulness, and calm breathing. When I realized these things I couldn’t believe no one had written a book called ‘Mindful Riding’, or at least something equivalent. I may sound like a hippie, but now more than ever I believe riding is good for one’s mental health.
I’ve found that practicing both types of meditation have only increased my ability to focus. For me focus is extremely necessary, but I also struggle with procrastination. All throughout school and into my adult years I’ve had a hard time being in the moment. This is especially problematic because I’m a writer; which requires me to sit down alone for long periods of time.
Since I’ve started focusing more on applying elements of my walking meditation to my rides, I’m able to curb some of my restless tendencies. After a long ride, I find it easier to settle down and get work done. This also spills over into my slumber tendencies as well. From time to time, I’ve struggle with inconsistent sleep. A long ride has a way of ensuring I receive a very peaceful night’s sleep.
I encourage everyone to implement meditation practices into their motorcycle riding. The small mental cues will give your ride an increased sense of purpose with insurmountable benefits.
Stay safe in these streets!