Once more I am posting about bike rides. In a previous post, I said that my bike rides are my most extended "think times." On many days, my bike rides are my most extended "alone times," too. As much as I enjoy the company of my wife and others, I need time to be alone, also. Yesterday as I rode, I concentrated on the physical sensations of the ride: the circular motion of my feet on the pedals, the up and down motion of my knees, and particularly the deep breaths I was taking and the rhythmic relationship of my breathing to the movement of my legs. Always when I ride, I am breathing very deeply, not from the exertion, but because the rhythmic motion encourages me to breathe deeply. This may be why I look forward to my rides so much: it feels so good to breathe deeply for a long period of time. At any rate, the concentration on the physical act of riding helped to keep other thoughts from my mind, in effect clearing my mind of extraneous thoughts.
Today, as I rode, I determined to just "be" in the ride, not to think about anything in particular. Rather, I tried not to think at all. The strongest sensations were those of the air movement around me, sometimes pushing against me as I rode into the wind, sometimes cooling me as I sped downhill or the breeze was at my back. I didn't worry about speed or work to maintain my speed as I climbed hills. I just relaxed in the ride. When I finished, I felt rested, as if the ride had required no exertion at all.
Both rides were equally pleasurable, and it was nice for a change not to use this time to think through any important matters. I don't want to always use my rides in this way, but it was what I sensed God wanted me to do to help myself these two days. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have had these experiences.
Yesterday, I discovered that my email account had been hacked, all of the contacts had been deleted, and the hacker was sending a bogus request for money to all of my contacts. In the past, this would have sent me into "stress level maximum." I was surprised at my reaction. I took logical steps to let everyone I could know that the email they were receiving was not genuine by sending a disclaimer to them through another email list that contained most of the addresses that had been deleted, I went to every account that I used the same user name and password for and changed those and investigated to determine that none of them had been accessed, and I notified the email service that had been used to send the bogus email and my own email service that had been hacked into. An unexpected outcome was that many friends from whom I had not heard in months sent me emails sympathizing with my situation and offering advice, often hilarious advice. What I could have seen as a disaster turned out to be a blessing because I was able to examine my emotional first reaction and logically negate the initial panic.
The transforming voice of God inside me and the practices of silence and meditation continue to amaze me and bring me great joy and peace. What a wonderful thing it is to know that I don't have to solve my problems, because there really aren't any problems, only opportunities to hear God and experience the present fully.