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Zen Proverb on cycling


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
This one is for all the camino cyclists out there.

‘A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, “Why are you riding your bicycles?”

The first student replied, “The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!” The teacher praised the first student. “You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do.”

The second student replied, “I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!” The teacher commended the second student, “Your eyes are open, and you see the world.”

The third student replied, “When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo.” The teacher gave his praise to the third student, “Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel.”

The fourth student replied, “Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings.” The teacher was pleased and said to the fourth student, “You are riding on the golden path of non-harming.”

The fifth student replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.”
The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, “I am your student.”’
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Thank you for this: it appeared on my screen eight years after you posted it. It means a lot to a cyclist, although it’s unlikely to mollify trail-hardened walkers.
There should be room for everyone. Cyclists need to respect the walkers. Walkers need to stop thinking they own the path.
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This reminds me of another Zen story, not involving a bicycle but a scooter (which doesn't distract from the gist of the story). The protagonist used that scooter to get to and from the monastery in Japan, where he studied Zen:

The scooter disturbed the head monk.
“Koan study,” he said, “leads to understanding that all things are connected. All beings are bound to each other by strong invisible threads. Anyone who has realised this truth will be careful, will try to be aware of what he is doing. You aren’t.”
“No?” I asked politely.
“No,” the head monk said and looked at me discontentedly. “I saw you turn a corner the other day and you didn’t hold out your hand. Because of your carelessness a truckdriver, who happened to be driving behind you, got into trouble and had to drive his truck on the sidewalk where a lady pushing her pram hit a director of a large trading company. The man, who was in a bad mood already, fired an employee that day who might have stayed on. That employee got drunk that night and killed a young man who could have become a Zen master.”
“Come off it,” I said.
“Perhaps it will be better if you hold out your hand in future when you turn a corner,” the head monk said.

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