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The Mindset of "Wa."

Jim Ford

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"Wa" is a Japanese word for harmony, peace, and balance. I first laid eyes the word back in the 70's while reading the James Clavell novel, Shogun. The word resonated with me big time; I continue referring to "wa" today, although I refrain from using it much in public. Some eyebrow would surely arch as if to say, "Wa? Say WHAT?"


When I am motorcycling Invisible Roads, I certainly am seeking harmony, peace, and balance. I'll take as much as I can! I surmise other riders search out the same


If I keep myself collected, mindful of what I am doing, I am usually successful at it, too.


One of the first skills I developed was to continuously, around each one those curves we love to ride, cast my eyes out across wide-ranging distances to that place down the trail where the pavement disappears from view. I call this spot the Vanishing Point. I call the distance The View. By being mindful of the Vanishing Point and the View I get "wa" in return.


See, one thing I don't like is being rushed. That ain't no harmony. By keeping my eyes ranging down the trail toward the VP, I give myself the most time and the most distance to deal with, or react to, anything the road serves up. I can then handle whatever it is that arouses my attention, no problem. In fact, given more time and more distance I welcome the challenges, taking on each one as smoothly as I can.


Here's a pointer. Be aware of the Vanishing Point but don't fixate on it. The idea is: Focus on nothing and see everything. (Thanks Dave!)


Harmony, peace and balance. Wa and smoothness. All are necessary zen qualities of accomplished motorcycling.


See you in third gear.














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Thanks Jim!


I equate the feeling of "feeling rushed" to "riding over my head".


For me there two solutions. (to just carry on without change is to invite problems)

1) Slow down.


2) Change my way of doing things.


I normally prefer option #2. But, option #1 is always a consideration.


Your insight is always appreciated!




(another) Dave

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