seeing with new eyes

Yesterday I rode my bicycle to work differently than I had in a long time. I stepped through my front door with the intention of truly experiencing my ride; to notice the details through all of my senses. Instead of rushing through the process in an attempt to break my all time record of 35 minutes, I made my ride my morning meditation. I focused on my breath, the sounds around me, the feel of the air on my skin, and the small details that I miss when I’m looking straight ahead.

It helped that it was a gorgeous spring morning in Seattle, and everything had the extra appearance of sparkle. The birds seemed drunk on sunshine and the few people who I saw on my journey had smiles on their faces. Even the bits of trash that littered the sides of the pathway and the graffiti under the bridge looked as if they belonged (maybe that’s a bit much, but I was meditating).

By slowing down and engaging in the world around me, I experienced a shift from peaceful to joy to connection. I realized that I am not separate from the sea birds I pass on the ship canal or the couple kissing in the early morning sun or even the homeless man asleep on the bench under a tarp. Not that I am these people or animals, but that I am connected in a worldly sense. And I had peace around that.

Maybe this was a continuation of my attempt to cultivate bicycle santosha, and maybe it was a temporary sunshine high, but it felt amazing. And it felt like a doorway opened to a new experience. My ride was inspired in a way it hasn’t been for a long time, and I was seeing the world with new eyes. The experience felt less like contentment and more like devotion- to what or who, I can’t say. Maybe to God, maybe to Universe, and maybe to the people, animals, and things I witnessed on the path. It was Bhakti bicycling. And it was pure bicycle bliss.

Seeing With New Eyes
~ Pei Hsien Lim

Yesterday I sat down
with water colours and drawing pencil
for the first time
in a long time.

O how my hands shook
and I really had doubt
if I could do it again.

When I had both eyes
20/20 vision
in my casual arrogance
I took one look
sure that I saw everything.

Now that I have only one eye
I always take a second look
and see with humility.

Slowly the hand steadied
once again
the creative process began

And I saw the whole universe
inside the pink lilies
saw beauty like I’ve never seen before.

19 thoughts on “seeing with new eyes

  1. Love this photo Wendi! It’s so perfect for the post, it is beautiful and weathered. Strong and sturdy in some spots, cracked and crumbling in others. It’s all encompassed in one place. The same way you saw your world on a lovely ride through your city.

    Visiting your blog from “Blogging from the Heart Class”. Michel

    • Michel- your description of my photo makes me so happy! I hadn’t even thought of that- I just loved the idea of doorways, and this photo brought back really nice memories for me. It was taken on a last road trip with our old dog, and I was drawn to old and faded things that still had a sense of vibrancy. Thank you for your insights- makes my heart happy!

    • thanks, Flo- I never thought my morning bike commute could be a place that I could practice meditation, but there I was- loving the world! Such a fabulous experience.

  2. ❤ this, and how effortless your writing about it is – and this photo. (One of my funny little obsessions is photos of doorways, so it's nice to come across one.)

    Glad I found this today.

    • thanks, Jane! I love doorways, too- this image was taken on a recent trip to Pt. Townsend, WA. I have so many doorway pictures in my photo file that it was a tough decision.

    • so true, Valerie- and how incredible how challenging it is to remember to experience life! these little moments are pure bliss to me. and affirming that bliss is possible even in the mundane.

  3. beautiful post and what a nice meditation/connection you had! bhakti bicycling… i love this! visiting from blogging from the heart 🙂

    • thank you, Alexa! here’s to the idea that I can capture that inspiration on rides to come. Not always easy in the rush of the world, is it?

  4. Hey, Wendi! Loved, loved, loved this post. I hadn’t thought of meditative biking before. What a fabulous idea and I love how you expressed your experience. I used to go on meditative walks quite a bit – given that so much of our days are spent going to and from other places, doing it so mindfully could bring so much more beauty and insight into our days. Great post!

    • thanks, Victoria! I love biking, but never thought about meditative biking, either- it was pure bliss. I highly recommend it.

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  6. thank you for taking the time to put this together. It is a wonderful bog indeed. there should be a better word for it than blog – how about, silver-cool-strong-wise-funny-sparkle-alive-wonderful-indeed-thing, or something like that?
    cheers and simple thank you.

    • Aren’t you about the sweetest thing to happen to me today? Just what I needed! I’m totally renaming this “blog”- will get back to you….your suggestion makes me totally giddy. *Happy*

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