Zen Bicycle-Sudo

“Take the winner of the Tour de France and ask him how to ride a bicycle. No matter how knowledgeable he is, no matter how eloquent his words, nothing he can say will enable a beginner to simply get on a bike and go.

We learn about zen the same way we learn to ride a bicycle–through the experience of our own bodies. Theories and teaching can guide us, but zen lies in the doing; each of us has to find our own balance in order to ride a bicycle. Once we learn, we never forget, no matter how long we go without riding. “What you have been taught by listening to others’ words you will forget very quickly,” says the karate master Gichin Funakoshi. What you have learned with your whole body you will remember for the rest of your life .

Through zen we seek to find and maintain that place of balance called chudan, meaning “middle ground.” It is the ground of total balance, a place from which we wish to direct all our actions. When we move from our center, our center moves with us. Regardless of what we do or where we go, we stay rooted in the here and now. “


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