Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Process of Becoming

There's a quote I love: "To accept is easy, to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith." 

A Moment for Philology

Taking a moment to expand on some of the words here. We can take Buddhahood to mean the enlightened aspect of a thing or person, or perhaps the manifest best side of something or someone. E.g., The person who speaks against injustice without regard to their own safety or reputation could perhaps be said to be manifesting the Buddhahood of that situation. Faith, so often a loaded word in politics and interpersonal relations, comes in many forms. Faith in an idea, a movement, a deity, a sports team, a parent, a loved one. But more so here, we're taking faith to mean faith in one's self; faith in one's ability to grow and manifest one's best self. Faith to undertake the challenge to see life exactly for what is it and deal with it, whether we fail or win the first time.

"Fascinating New Thing"

When we start something new it's really exciting. New job, new school, new project, new love, new house, new things... you get the idea. But eventually things are divested of sparkling their newness and we're left with what is.

Oft times that's where we stop. But that's the kicker...

So often, what is is better than the idea of shiny newness that we ascribed. So often what's there is a shining, beautiful thing. But it takes something to get there.

In the process of becoming, so frequently impatience kicks in. Why can't this be done yet? Why am I not there yet? It feels like nothing has changed, all this time has gone by and I still have all these same problems.

In Bicycles as In Life

I am rebuilding Charlie. After over 8000 miles it was about time. Charlie is in the process of becoming his new self.

He's got a little of this:

And some of this:

And some new wheels, but there's the waiting. The parts order is in but there's only so much we can do in the meantime.

And it keeps snowing.

Where are my parts? Why won't it stop snowing, it's March now.

(See what I mean about impatience?)

What I Want, Right Now

That's the thing about continuing. It's not about what I want right now. It's about the big picture, about remembering that when things don't go your way, when it keeps snowing, when everything seems arrayed against you.

Spring will come.

But how you pass the time between now and then is up to you.

Doing the work that's right in front of you, starting where you are is the next step in the process of becoming.

Me, I'm building another bike, but I'm still riding the beater. I'm doing another Mudder, so I'm running. I'm starting a business, so I'm learning.

I'm somewhere in the process of becoming the next best version of me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to throw current me into the bilge trap. This me is pretty awesome too, because she is continuing, even though the destination is over the horizon.

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Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License