seeing with new eyes


Yesterday I rode my bicycle to work differently than I had in a long time. I stepped through my front door with the intention of truly experiencing my ride; to notice the details through all of my senses. Instead of rushing through the process in an attempt to break my all time record of 35 minutes, I made my ride my morning meditation. I focused on my breath, the sounds around me, the feel of the air on my skin, and the small details that I miss when I’m looking straight ahead.

It helped that it was a gorgeous spring morning in Seattle, and everything had the extra appearance of sparkle. The birds seemed drunk on sunshine and the few people who I saw on my journey had smiles on their faces. Even the bits of trash that littered the sides of the pathway and the graffiti under the bridge looked as if they belonged (maybe that’s a bit much, but I was meditating).

By slowing down and engaging in the world around me, I experienced a shift from peaceful to joy to connection. I realized that I am not separate from the sea birds I pass on the ship canal or the couple kissing in the early morning sun or even the homeless man asleep on the bench under a tarp. Not that I am these people or animals, but that I am connected in a worldly sense. And I had peace around that.

Maybe this was a continuation of my attempt to cultivate bicycle santosha, and maybe it was a temporary sunshine high, but it felt amazing. And it felt like a doorway opened to a new experience. My ride was inspired in a way it hasn’t been for a long time, and I was seeing the world with new eyes. The experience felt less like contentment and more like devotion- to what or who, I can’t say. Maybe to God, maybe to Universe, and maybe to the people, animals, and things I witnessed on the path. It was Bhakti bicycling. And it was pure bicycle bliss.

Seeing With New Eyes
~ Pei Hsien Lim

Yesterday I sat down
with water colours and drawing pencil
for the first time
in a long time.

O how my hands shook
and I really had doubt
if I could do it again.

When I had both eyes
20/20 vision
in my casual arrogance
I took one look
sure that I saw everything.

Now that I have only one eye
I always take a second look
and see with humility.

Slowly the hand steadied
once again
the creative process began

And I saw the whole universe
inside the pink lilies
saw beauty like I’ve never seen before.