Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prayers Per Hour - Using Your Bicycle Wheel as a Prayer Wheel

The prayer wheel has long been a tool of Tibetan Buddhists to continually recite prayer. The consistent and even motion is perfect for sending light and mantra out into the world.

As cyclists we have an opportunity to do the same, even as we commute, race, and ride mysteriously at midnight. The process, as explained here, is to get into the rhythm of the bicycle, and envision your wheels shooting out light and good will to the world...

You start off with getting yourself into a basic bicycling meditation. When your breathing is feeling like it is flowing naturally, and your body is relaxed and working smoothly on the bicycle, you can stay there as long as you like -- and you can chose to begin the next part of any of the meditations below if and when you're ready.

In your mind, see the prayer you have selected for this ride on each spoke of your bicycle wheel. If two wheels are too much to track, pick just your front or your back wheel. Imagine the prayers circulate with each turn of each of your wheel.

Now, you visualize light beams coming out of the prayers in your bicycle wheel, illuminating you and purifying you of any ill-health and the causes of ill-health, your negative thoughts and the imprints of these left on your being. Ride for this for a while — this is a good enough meditation for one ride as it is.

If you can, then visualize the light illuminating not just you, but everyone around you. It's often easier to visualize the light to those you care about, so send it to your children, your spouse, your parents, to your friends - all those who you'd like to see be purified and healed. If you can, send out the light to all around you, to your community, and out to the world.

Awesome! After all, isn't that what it's all about? Using the bicycle as a spiritual tool to bless and improve the lives of yourself and those around you?

One could take this a step further and modify a bicycle wheel into a literal prayer wheel, forever spinning Om Mani Padme Hum for the benefit of those they pass.

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