When I started riding, I was astonished to find that being on the back of a motorcycle is a true meditative experience. Of course, when you look at a guy sitting on a cruiser laying one foot on the floorboards and the other one on the highway bars, you do get the impression that it’s a relaxing experience, but it’s actually way more than that. Riding a bike on a winding back road mandates that your eyes are glued to the end of each corner and your body leans into each turn in a special rhythm that rhymes with the road and becomes one with it. At some point, you feel in-sync with your environment to a level where it’s not clear where you end and the bike starts, and it’s not clear where the bike ends and the road starts. It’s just one big entity and you are a part of it.
Carl Jung, who was an avid modern interpreter of Buddhism, referred to Collective Consciousness as the “common field of consciousness of which we all are part”. This notion is a part of different flavors of Buddhism, and even before The Buddha, the early Upanisads speak of the fact that all is connected and that the perception of the self is but an illusion: one’s self does not end at one’s skin. According to these principles of Vedanta, one connects with this collective field using meditation.
In the movie Avatar, members of the Na’vi tribe connect to this field of consciousness physically – by hooking the braid of one’s hair to animals, plants, and Eywa – represented by the tree of souls. Us humans do not have the good fortunes of having that cool braid of hair as a physical plug. Even if you have never been on a motorcycle before, you must know the liberating feeling of losing some of your sense of self and being a part of something bigger. Do you hike? bike? play in a band? volunteer?
What’s your meditation? How do you connect to Eywa?