I sold my Harley. Wow, was that a sexy machine. “The Divine Miss M” was her name, I love what we shared together but it was time to find her a new home. Not a hardcore motorcycle rider, I enjoyed seven or so years of riding locally, to places around the Northern Arizona. Out towards Strawberry, through Flag, over Mingus to Prescott and of course jaunts to Jerome and the Spirit Room; winding country roads and highways, sunshine and snow, wind and freezing weather. Loved the leather and the boots, the roar, the whipping wind, the open feeling of moving through space, a sense of freedom. I never really rode the outer edges of the great potential of motorcycle experience but I was fully present for the moments I did have. A girl forms a bond with her bike, saying goodbye was like breaking up when you know it’s what’s best for both of you.
When the decision had been made that I really didn’t have the time to ride right now and leaving the Divine Miss M alone in the garage for too long was not cool, I decided to sell her. That was last Spring, the letting go process began then. At the final hour, what made the ending so sweet was the woman who bought it. She is a dynamic, grounded, spiritually thoughtful woman living right here in Sedona. She has owned Harley’s before and had wanted another for years. The smile on her face when we were finalizing the paperwork was priceless and that same evening as I drove through the first circle at the Y, there she was on the bike with a blonde on the back. The sight made my heart sing. Miss M was in good hands. I was content.
This may beg the question of how this former Buddhist nun ended up riding a Harley anyway? This is one of my favorite stories of the practice of surrender.
It was 2006, shortly after I put my robes down and became a layperson again. I wanted a new motorcycle. I had begun to learn to ride on a borrowed Honda 250 a few years prior while I was still a nun. It was winter but I rode everyday to sharpen my skills, bundled up tight, robes flapping in the wind. After about six months a friend from Long Beach gave me a 1978 KZ1000, the precursor to what is now called a crotch rocket. It was bigger, more powerful and about 25 years old. It actually didn’t run when I got it so I had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the mechanics of a bike as a friend of mine and I worked it over part by part to get it running. All good and fine, important to know your equipment and how it works but very quickly I grew tired of the breakdowns and the repairs. I was a beginner and wanted to focus on developing safe riding skills. I had had enough lessons in motorcycle mechanics. I set my mind on getting a new bike.
After several visits to the Kawasaki dealer in Cottonwood, I picked out a Kawasaki 900; an affordable, mid size bike that was a deep red and fit me nicely. Now to make it happen; I tried a number of different avenues, cash flow was the challenge. When I get an idea about something I am not easily daunted yet each one was a dead end. I even had a friend promise a loan and then at the last minute it fell through. I was crushed!
Crushed? An alarm goes off in my mind.
My mind had grown tight. I was focused on making this thing happen one way or another. I wanted a new bike. I want, I want, I want. I need, I need, I need. I am wired for alarms to go off in my head when I hear this mantra. I asked myself if this is the mind quality I am committed to cultivating? This tight, graspy, I know what is best, I know what is suppose to happen kind of experience. Actually no. Where was the quiet, expansive mind through which all I need manifests? Where was the posture of knowing that all I need will find me in it’s time? Apparently squeezed out by my ego’s need to assert itself seemingly on my behalf.
Quick, it is time for some spiritual first aid. I am reminded of surrender. Time to let go of the idea of even having a motorcycle. If it would support me in my commitments then I would have it in due time, if not well then why would I even want one? Surrender might sound a little whimpy to some, lack pro-activity. This has not been my experience at all. Surrender is an invitation to engage in a partnership with the omnipotent creative force of Love, could I just please relax. I somewhat reluctantly turned the whole idea over to Divine source.
This is a story of how my idea of how things should, could or wouldbe rarely holds a candle to what is possible in partnership with the whole of universal good. From a posture of surrender what presents itself is by far greater than what I could ever imagine.
Less than 2 weeks after letting go of this motorcycle idea I was presented with the opportunity to trade my artwork for a brand new Harley Davidson Softail Heritage, a gleaming, powerful example of motorcycle magnificence. I would have a roarin’ hot, motorcycle that would hold it’s value over the years and my artwork would be in a beautiful showcase home of a collector here in Sedona. Please note this happened effortlessly. The story gets even better because I had the opportunity to sit in front of the painting we traded and tell this collector the story of the piece. The image is the Medicine Buddha. This man is Catholic, deepening spiritually and open minded. He has created great wealth in his life yet he has suffered in the hidden ways that are so prevalent in our culture. He was drawn to this image of the healing Buddha. He was moved by it’s story. It now hangs in his private space radiating healing blessings in his life. He helped my dream happen and I may be contributing to his.
This story was a profound teaching to me. One I remind myself of each time I am sure I know what I need and how I am going to get it. Surrender is my friend, partnership with the Divine a powerful possibility in any of our lives. It seems time and again, the desires of my heart are met more fully than I have the capacity to imagine.
What is that expression? “Let go and let God.” I would love to hear about how this has worked in your life.