Motorcycle Dharma and The Highest Pass

The Highest Pass

As a motorcyclist, I receive a lot of reactions to the lifestyle in which I am so passionate about. I get the “that’s way too dangerous” and the “I could never do that” and even the “dangerous sport for a girl” lines. My answers to such reactions are “safer than bicycling” and “it’s not for everybody” and lastly, “don’t call me a girl.”

Once in a while I get the question that I love, which is something like “why do you love motorcycles so much?” I’ve had the same answer to this question since I was able to put it into words; “… because when I’m on the motorcycle, I’m not thinking about anything else but riding.”

This is the most true statement I can make. There are many things I love about riding, including things that don’t include riding. I love the mechanics, the community, and the competition. None of those things, however, would be as loved by me if I didn’t have the feeling I do on my bike.

I’m not worrying about my bad work day, the broken car window that I’ve replaced three times in two months, or the person who hurt my feelings. Arguably, these are the moments that I touch enlightenment throughout my day. It refocuses me and it can humble me. If I were a gambler, I would bet that this is a common feeling within the community.

Years ago I studied with a Transcendental Meditation teacher. I had never done this type of meditation but I had gone with a group of friends and had been curious about it (Perhaps, in part because The Beatles did it). Up to this point I had tried a handful of other meditation styles and felt like I had built a good foundation for understanding it.

There was one major difference that had stood out to me during this teaching series; that there is not an ultimate enlightenment to be reached or to work towards, but in fact, many points of enlightenment experienced during true meditation. Now, I don’t know if this is true, but I would like to believe it is. That on my Richter scale of enlightenment, I’ve reached some high numbers, cracking through this dharma shell.

Long story short, it makes me feel good.

The Highest Pass follows Anand, a yogi/guru and his followers on a motorcycle journey through the most difficult roads in the world. Over 21 days, they challenge themselves to reach Ladakh (also known as Little Tibet) and battle freezing climates, low oxygen levels, deadly roads, questionable riding abilities, and ultimately their personal battles to reach their proverbial summits.

After watching all the trailers, I even wondered why they would go through with this. In fact, there is one rider with virtually no riding experience whatsoever. It sounds like a recipe for disaster. It also sounds like this recipe makes for a nice helping of self exploration.

In a nutshell, I totally get it. (would I do it?… probably)

Movie website: The Highest Pass

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