Alex Kakuyo Sensei
When I was a kid one of the proudest moments of my life was learning to ride a bike without training wheels. It was a rite of passage that showed that I was a “big kid” who was ready to not only hang out with the older kids in my neighborhood but also go to the park by myself. Beyond that, however, it also represented freedom. I was no longer bound by how fast I could walk/ run somewhere. I could cover twice the distance in half the time which meant I could visit all of my friends in one afternoon and still be home before dark.
That being said, I don’t remember ever riding a bike after my 13th birthday. I’m not sure why that is exactly other than the fact that I outgrew the bike I had, and I never got around to getting another one. But last year I decided to start living life on two wheels again, and it’s been a terrific journey! Also, it’s true what they say. You never forget how to ride a bike. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but it seemed like the moment my feet hit the pedals my body just knew what to do. I think Buddhism works in the same way.
When Gyomay Sensei says that Buddhism is everyday life. I think he is saying that Buddhism is like riding a bicycle. At first, we need to learn the theory and double check our minds to ensure we are practicing the “right” way. But eventually, it just becomes a part of us. We do it when we sit on the cushion. But we also do it when we wash dishes or go to the movies. Eventually, we stop practicing Buddhism and just start living it. And that is when all of the fun starts!
Alex Kakuyo Sensei is a Lay Minister with Bright Dawn Way of Oneness Sangha. For information about Bright Dawn and the Lay Ministry program please visit our website.