The constant goings-on in my head would make a three-ring circus seem calm. There’s always some sort of music playing, plus echoes of past conversations, along with so many “apps” running — I cannot count them all. At a minimum, there’s a shopping list app, a calendar app, a checkbook app, a what’s–for-dinner app, and — I’m although ashamed to admit it — there’s even an app that’s on the lookout for cute guys (nothing wrong with a little window shopping, am I right, ladies? Hey, don’t judge me!) And those are just the apps that are always on deck.
At the moment, there’s also an app that’s studying for an upcoming exam, another that’s prowling for birthday present ideas for my sisters, and another that’s searching for a more efficient design for a database I’m working on.
The commotion in my head is okay; I’m used to it, and it feels like home (good thing, huh?!) Because of my apps, I am very rarely bored, and I don’t require much company or entertainment. But the downside is that when I actually want peace and quiet, it’s pretty hard to come by… especially at 2:00 a.m., when I can’t figure out how to get my cerebrum to slow down enough so that I can get some sleep.
Learning and improving myself is something about which I am particularly passionate. I’m always on the hunt for ways to work smarter, or tactics that will help develop latent talents. I also enjoy studying about spirituality and world religions. Buddhism, in particular, fascinates me — especially the whole “Zen” thing.
Zen, a style of Buddhism, is the study of the mind and seeing into one’s nature, which is accomplished by eliminating attachments to people and things, by silencing one’s mind, and by copious quantities of meditation. (Please pardon this single-drop summation of a million-acre-lake belief system.)
So far, my hyperactive, American mind has been largely unsuccessful at achieving the state of zen — except when riding my Trikke.
The second I mount my trusty T78, my brain goes completely, absolutely, deliciously silent. Nothing exists but that single moment and the path ahead of me. I plug my headphones into my ears, fire up my favorite workout tunes, and start carving. Even the pain from my injured spinal nerves becomes virtually undetectable (let’s hear it for magical, mystical, pain-killing endorphins that our brains produce in mass, blissful quantities when we exercise!)
All is right with my world for the few moments I’m weaving my way through the park. Now, if I can only figure out how to find that same bliss off the Trikke…
Most of the time, it’s all right that my head is on overdrive. But I would like the option to quiet it on command. Sometimes it would be nice to sit on a dock and watch the sunset in peace — without Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, my database, tomorrow’s meal plan, my to-do list, and a dozen other things running amok in my thought-space…
I suppose what I’m really looking for is the ultimate virtual remote control for my busy brain. My guess: it only becomes available for purchase after much practice, determination, and dedication to the cause — you know, the same stuff that produces the most cherished and, arguably, best parts of our own selves. That’s cool, though; I’m not one to shy away from a challenging goal when there’s an epic reward at the finish line.
In the meantime, I’ll keep achieving a temporary zen state on three wheels, but if you spy one of those remote-thingies on sale somewhere, shoot me a text!
Here’s wishing you a zen week. Oooooommmmm…
PS. (If you’re of a mind, check out Robert Persig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s not so much about Zen or motorcycles, but it’s a good read nonetheless.)