Tag Archive: lessons

The Means To Notice It All

The article “The Means To Notice It All” by Bud Miller/Zen Motorcyclist was originally published on the “RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel” magazine website on 9/22/2016.

This past Mother’s Day, my girlfriend Erica and I rode to a farm not far from my home that she had lived on for a time. We were visiting the owner, Sally, who Erica had grown close to during the time she spent there and who she’s remained friends with ever since. As I approached on the cycle down a long, narrow, winding gravel driveway and under an idyllic train trestle, I spotted horses and donkeys in the fields, chicken coops and tractor barns, all the stuff of a working farm. The sky wasn’t looking so good, but it was a May day, I’ve ridden in the rain before, and besides, the dark clouds and winds created the kind of weather I’ve always loved riding in.

the-meansSally, a strong, no-nonsense woman, appeared to be close to my mother Mary’s age. She actually reminded me a bit of my mom. A bird had made a nest in a broken light fixture on her porch and laid eggs. Sally saw to it that the switch to the light was disabled and a sign was posted warning visitors to use the side door lest they suffer the wrath of a mother protecting her young.

I sat on the floor as we spoke, petting Sally’s huge, fleshy-faced English Mastiff. We covered a lot of topics. Sally is sharp, up-front, an avid reader, and direct, the sort of person I love talking to. I got the feeling that with her there are no games or fear of offending, just smart conversation. Eventually the talk turned to motorcycles, and (more…)

Ride Through the Twisties and Bhagavad Gita

DSC_0571As I twisted the throttle rounding a particularly exhilarating curve along my favorite twisty road and heard the satisfying exhaust burble of my Teutonic sport tourer, I thought of the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita.  Bhagavad Gita is one of the most sacred Hindu texts and a literary masterpiece that served as the source of inspiration for among others, Einstein, Thoreau and Emerson.  The epic poem traces the dialog between Arjuna, a decorated warrior, and Lord Krishna, the Divine who presents Itself to Arjuna as his charioteer.  The topic of the dialog between Arjuna and Lord Krishna is the life in Yoga.  As I strengthened my bike I saw the smiling face of my Guru.  A profound truth was about to be revealed to me.

I took no hallucinogens before my ride and have not been diagnosed with any condition of the body or mind associated with randomly appearing visions.  It is just when I am on a motorcycle alone with the wind and fully present in the experience, things, important, often deep things, come to me.

Nearly three months ago I got back from India after spending three-and-a-half weeks studying yoga and meditation and absorbing the wisdom of the Himalayas with my youthful Master, extraordinary Yogi, and a fellow motorcyclist, Anand Mehrotra.    My experience in Rishikesh, a small Indian town on the banks of the Ganges River, at the foothills of the Himalayas was beyond powerful.

Yet, upon returning I had no idea what happened to me.  Sure, I felt uplifted and inspired and to anyone who would DSC_0515listen I would tell how trans-formative my journey was.  Inside though I felt more dissatisfied than ever with nearly every aspect of my life.  As the pressures of everyday routines began to mount, I quickly fell into the same destructive patterns I thought I had left behind long before.  Even though I maintained a daily yoga and meditation practice and even taught these powerful disciplines to others, the disconnect within seemed as deep as ever.  I often wondered if I felt into the trap Anand warned so much about – acquiring a new vocabulary and a few ideas, but no depth beneath.

Then, on that motorcycle ride I thought of the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita.  In it, as Arjuna surveys the two armies about to engage in a bloody battle with each other, he tells the Great Lord that he does not want to fight; that he finds the bloody battle he is about to engage in utterly pointless; and that he likes the great men on both sides of the battlefield and feels sorry that they will lay their lives down in a useless feat.   Krishna, the Almighty Presence, the God of Yoga, tells Arjuna to fight indeed and do so fully without caring the slightest bit about the results.  And only then, Krishna begins to tell Arjuna about life in Yoga.

You see, what I got on that ride is that true change begins with awareness which then turns into presence with whatever is.  It is only after awareness and then presence that we can even begin the teachings of Yoga.

As my iron stead settled into the rhythm of a serpentine road – I understood.  After three and a half weeks in the Himalayas I simply began experiencing awareness, not yet presence.  But, I was transformed indeed, as I took the first tiny step towards life in Yoga.

The Highest Pass – TV

HighestPass_PosterIf you’ve been following us lately you’ve no doubt seen our review of the film The Highest Pass and our interview with the film’s writer and producer Adam Schomer.

Zen Motorcyclist is pleased to announce that the film will be shown on LinkTV on the following dates:

  • Thursday December 5th 4 PM PT/7PM ET
  • Sunday December 8th 5 PM PT/8PM ET
  • Monday December 10th 6 PM PT/9 PM ET
  • Wednesday, Dec. 11th – 11 AM PT/2PM ET.

LinkTV is available on Dish Network and DirecTV. Please see the LinkTV availability map for carriers in your area.

Those who are unable to view the film on television can rent it from the Zen Motorcyclist affiliate link or from the Zen Motorcyclist Facebook page.

Yoga, Death and Motorcycles

DCIM100GOPRORecently I attended a very special yoga class.  It was inspiring and uplifting.  The entire class was dedicated to dying and death. This was no ordinary asana practice, but a Kundalini Yoga workshop, taught by a world-renown Master Teacher, Hari Nam Singh Khalsa. Kundalini yoga is perhaps the most metaphysical branch of the ancient practice, and Hari Nam is one of its more prolific teachers.

Hari Nam’s powerful message was that death (more…)

The Road to Getting Yourself Out of the Way – Book Review

cover_press_01A few weeks ago we interviewed author Annette Birkmann.  Her interview with Zen Motorcyclist contributor, Henry Yampolsky, can be found here.  Henry’s review of Annette Birkmann’s book, The Road to Getting Yourself Out of the Way, a Journey to Effortless Living follows:

Annette Birkmann begins her book with a quote from Eckhart Tolle:  “Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being instead of lost in your mind.”  This quote provides the perfect introduction for this coming-of-age story because The Road to Getting Yourself Out of the Way, a Journey to Effortless Living is a narrative of one woman’s (more…)

Our Interview with Filmmaker Adam Schomer

Adam_Anand_Praying72dpi-OptimizedFinding The Highest Pass Within Follow-Up – An Interview with the producer, writer and star of the film: Adam Schomer

Several weeks ago Zen Motorcyclist contributor Henry Yampolsky reviewed the film, The Highest Pass, starring Anand Mehrortra, Adam Schomer, and six other motorcycle riders, who traversed the highest pass in the Himalayas while on a spiritual journey of discovering and facing their own deepest fears. Read Henry’s Review of the film here.

We received great feedback in response to the review including a comment from Adam Schomer, the producer, writer and one of the stars of the film.  Henry invited Adam to sit down for an interview for ZenMotorcyclist.com.  During their conversation Henry and Adam talked about the story behind The Highest Pass, some of the key teachings of Anand Mehrotra, facing our own mortality, discovering freedom, and of course about riding motorcycles.  As part of his interview with Henry, Adam made available to readers of Zen Motorcyclist a preview of The Four Sacred Peaks of Freedom (trailer below), a 5-part TV miniseries coming later in 2014 which expands and follows on the lessons of The Highest Pass.  You can hear further details about the miniseries in Henry’s interview with Adam and watch the riveting preview below.

Here is Adam’s interview:

The Highest Pass can be streamed using this link and/or from the Zen Motorcyclist Facebook page.

Here is a preview of Adam’s television series The Four Sacred Peaks of Freedom which is currently raising finances for post production, for more information contact Adam through his website.

The Four Sacred Peaks from Adam Schomer on Vimeo.

The Highest Pass can be streamed using this link and/or from the Zen Motorcyclist Facebook page.

Zen Motorcyclist is currently editing Henry’s interview with Annette Birkmann, author of The Road to Getting Yourself Out of Way – A Journey to Effortless Living. Stay tuned for that interview in the coming weeks.

Did I Get The Message?

The Author on BMWI wish I could tell you that I pull away from a stop on my motorcycle with a cool detachment of Mr. Advenure Man, who in his spare time (when not crossing the Moab desert or fighting bears in Alaska with his bare hands) models adventure clothing for the Cycle Gear catalog. I also wish I could tell you that my appearance at least bore the slightest resemblance to that of Mr. Adventure Man.

The reality is that after stalling a few times (more…)