A Parable of Pedaling submitted by Heath Maddox

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery, 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 I do not have to carry them on my back." The teacher said, " You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over as I do."

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

The third student replied, "The fluid rhythm of pedaling frees my mind as well as my body." The teacher praised him. "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with nature, the environment, and all sentient beings." The teacher said, "You are riding on the gold path of nonharming."

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."


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