Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will have seen posts about my cycling exploits over the past few years.
Just the same way we test the progress of our Buddhist practice, I have been monitoring my progress in cycling terms.
In some ways, comparing my training times is an easier process. Am I completing the distance more quickly, is my heart rate lower for the same effort, so many metrics to compare. But testing the progress of my practice is more obvious to me day to day.
Almost a year ago to the day, I rode to Hengistbury Head and back, a journey that really caused me a whole world of pain. So much so, that I blogged about the experience. Today I repeated the journey with ease, I even raced, and beat, a bunch of lads who were waiting at the closed Poole bridge on the way home.
The difference? Last year, I was so much less fit. This year, I have been putting my heart and soul into my training. Today’s trip pushed my monthly training distance over the 900km mark, and that has made a huge difference.
When we put all our effort into something, be that training, or our Buddhist practice, we see the results. My cycling effort is backed up by lists and lists of figures and statistics. My effort in Buddhist practice terms shows up in my self awareness, my life-energy and life-state and I can feel the progress each and every day.
And there is an added bonus. The fitter I get, the higher my life-state, the more I chant, the higher my life-energy and the fitter I can get … the ultimate positive spiral !!!