Falling from my bike at Aspiration Ground

I have a bad temper.  I can keep it under control most of the time, thank God, but not when I’m on my bicycle.  I don’t like injustice- so when I get cut off by drivers or if they drive too close or don’t signal, I tend to get really angry and frustrated.  This frustration often bubbles over and I scream, shout and curse at them.  I don’t hold back- I use every word in the dictionary, including some I may have actually made up!


I don’t know why I act like this- I guess it has to do with my sense of being helpless on the road.  I need to compensate for my feeling of being defenseless by raging at cars.  It’s not a good habit.  Cars outweigh bikes, and also they can go faster.  Do I really want to go head to head with an angry driver?

Also, this is America.  People carry guns!  Is the satisfaction of telling drivers off really worth the risk of getting shot?

I can’t account or explain this behavior.  I don’t feel good after I’ve cursed somebody off.  It affects my consciousness for the rest of the day.  Also, I dread getting on my bicycle.  I hate the idea that I’m going to get into these kinds of situations with people.  This kind of behavior is not in harmony with my spiritual life.  I don’t use this kind of language on other disciples- why should I use it on anyone?

Anyway, at Celebrations, I voiced my experiences on my bike with a friend who is a champion cyclist.  He listened to me, and agreed with my own self-assessment, that my behavior, sooner or later, could result in my getting seriously injured or worse.  He told me there have been disciples who have been involved in very serious bike accidents.  He told me his three maxims while cycling:

  1. Always put safety first
  2. Always anticipate danger
  3. Always avoid conflict

He also told me that “There is no justice on the road- there is only survival.”


I needed to hear these words.  Perhaps if he had told me these affirmations or mantras some other time I wouldn’t have been receptive to them.  But I’ve been thinking about how miserable I feel at the end of each bike ride.  Forget about the fact that screaming at people is dangerous and reckless- besides all that it absolutely wrecks my consciousness!  I have hated getting on my bike recently.

The next day, at Aspiration-Ground, I had a bad fall.  It is kept dark during prasad and love offering and I missed a step.  I fell very hard.  I tore my clothes, scraped both knees, was terribly shaken up.  To this very day, one of my fingers is a little stiff, and I still have a little bit of pain in my lower back.  It was a real fall.

Why did I fall after my friend gave me this advice?

Well, what if all of my screaming and cursing has set in motion a certain karmic pattern?  I’ve been screaming at cars for years now- cursing, swearing, threatening.  What if the karmic consequence of all this is that I am destined to get in a serious bike accident?  My friend intervened, I took his advice to heart, and I stopped screaming at cars.  But what if this karmic sequence is already in motion? Yes, I’ve stopped this behavior, thanks to my friend’s advice- but the karma is still there.  What if some divine force mediated my little accident at Aspiration-Ground, as a way of relieving me of my karmic debt by having me sustain an injury similar to falling from a bicycle- just less severe than the accident I was destined to have.  It’s like how you create an antivenom from the original venom.  I think there’s a Zen parable that runs to the effect that once we resolve to behave virtuously, those boulders we set in motion may still fall upon us.  But if God’s Grace intervenes, the big rock can become just a pebble.

For the past two weeks I make it a point to meditate before I get on my bike.  While meditating, I say these four lines like mantras-

  1. Always put safety first
  2. Always anticipate danger
  3. Always avoid conflict
  4. There is no justice on the road- there is only survival

I also say them over and over while I ride.  Since I came back from Celebrations, I have not cursed or shouted at anyone.  Drivers give me the right of way, and they give me more room.  On the few occasions when I’ve been cut off, I see that people wave at me apologetically.  Maybe they’re not perfect drivers, but I’m not a perfect cyclist.  However, I don’t get angry anymore.  I don’t shout or scream.  I feel safer, and I can stay in a nice consciousness.  I’ve repeated these maxims hundreds and hundreds of times.  They have become true mantras for me, and they have changed my life.  They produced the desired effect very quickly.

I repeat many of Guru’s mantras for purity, forgiveness and gratitude.  I have not noticed the sudden overnight transformation as I did with the cycling mantras.  This is because the cycling mantras that my friend gave me are for a change in my outer behavior.  It was a change I was ready for and they produced the appropriate effect very quickly.  Guru’s mantras are for a fundamental change in my consciousness.  It will take a longer time.  But as these cycling mantras changed my life, so will Guru’s mantras have, in time, a profound effect on my life.  I just have to continue saying them.

But, on a human level, practical affirmations that can adjust our behavior can play a most important role, as my experience shows.

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4 thoughts on “Falling from my bike at Aspiration Ground”

  1. Great blog, really interesting to hear. I’m glad you’re having better experiences on the bike. Remember also Mark Twain’s quote “A bicycle is the best thing you can buy, so long as it doesn’t kill you.”

    I do always pray for protection, before cycling – very seriously, and never just ‘going through the motions’ try visualise light descending on the roads.

    I remember once going cycling with some friends, but one had a very bad temper always shouting at cars. I vowed never to go cycling with him again, as he was going to attract some bad incident.

    BTW: which champion cyclist do you know?

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