Tag Archive: Bike riding

Welcome to the One Week Responsive Universe Challenge – as seen on MindBodyGreen!

“If you are new to practice (meditation) it’s important to realize that simply to sit on that cushion for fifteen minutes is a victory”.

–          Charlotte Joko Beck

If you are having a difficult time connecting to meditation you are not alone. Have you tried to meditate only to end up frustrated and more agitated than when you started? It’s okay.

The first step in meditation is to simply be aware – mindful of all those thoughts careening through your head…. Most of the time we just let thoughts run ramped, simply unaware. Once you stop and actually focus on the steady stream of thoughts you realize it is a pretty busy place up there in the mind. No wonder some of us have a hard time falling asleep.

Where do thoughts arise from? Can you pin point it? Where do they go? Does the mind have a border or perimeter? Meditation only asks for mindfulness – nothing more…

What really is meditation? Meditation is the conscious focus of the present. What is happening right now? That is meditation… When we let our thoughts run ramped we are replaying tapes of fear and fantasy, past and future – the director of this mental function is your ego. When you root your mind in the present you are creating gaps between those thoughts of fear and fantasy, past and future. Your ego is powerless. You are living in the moment; present, authentic and connected to your True Nature – that is meditation: The focus is on what is happening right now – the experience at hand and all the feelings and emotions associated with that moment… and the next moment… and the next moment….

Did you know you can meditate anytime and anywhere?

I do bike riding meditations all the time. Walking meditations are great too because any meditation that includes exercise is fantastic! I have this beautiful forest preserve near my home with miles of trails that traverse ponds, tree tunnels, marshes and wild flower fields – no man made intervention, few people, lots of birds and sometimes perfect clouds above. As I ride, I connect to what is around me and not the continuous thoughts in my head. As I ride I breathe in the sweet air, notice the intricacies and beauty of nature and in doing so; stretch those gaps in my mind between aimless thoughts. Within those authentic gaps is this sublime connection to energy, relaxation, reverence and bliss. Most times I will ride between 10-17 miles which can take up to 2 hours. Along the way I will stop and simply settle into the moment around me. My thoughts slow, inspiration and awareness is fine-tuned and there is this heartfelt feeling that I am evolving in the right direction.

That is meditation….

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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Welcome to the One Week Responsive Universe Challenge – as seen on MindBodyGreen!

We are being mindful this week about wellness as we tackle the Responsive Universe One Week Challenge. Lets talk about exercise!

Exercise is something I truly crave. I can’t run because I have a bum ankle and I can’t surf because I live in the midwest now (I used to live near the beach in California). There was a lot of ” can’ts in that sentence!  Coupled with my ego that always seems to have an excuse, exercise can be a difficult regiment to adopt. especially with busy schedules and families – when is there time?

There is always time!

For me bike riding as the answer. I ride the local forest preserve trails near my home – instead of watching TV or sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I grab the bike and go for a ride. I find it meditative and good for me… I ride about 20-30 miles a week now and I just absolutely crave it. The key was finding the right fitness program to meet my needs and schedule.

Exercise relieves stress, helps regulate weight, and improves attitude and mental clarity. Regular exercise routines enhance healthy eating habits and encourage us to stay on healthier paths. Since we feel better and look better when we exercise, we also tend to want healthier food options. If you feel like you are in a lifestyle rut, devoid of wellness, there is hope for change. Gone are the days of wanting fast food and wishing for rain so you can slump on the couch and watch TV. Instead, with the right drive and focus, you find yourself wanting a salad and anxiously awaiting a jog with your dog after work. If you’re just starting to set a new routine, don’t go out and run five miles and eat a bag of raw carrots. Instead, start small and smart. Slowly work yourself into a new lifestyle change.

Here are some helpful tips for setting up a low-impact exercise regime:

Baby steps – Try a beginner yoga or pilates class, or even walk or take a jog. Work your way slowly into a more aggressive routine. Running 10 miles your first day of exercise ensures failure and also is not healthy. Repetition and building your routine over time is what will yield results.

Commit for one month – Make a commitment to work out three days a week for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit and give you an end-goal. Once you reach your one month benchmark, be mindful of how you feel and set a new goal that builds on what you have already achieved. Then, advance to a harder exercise class; increase your speed or length in your jog or run. Maybe even pick up the next heaviest weights in the set.

Don’t quit – Most good things in life are not easy and we have to work for them. Push yourself to exercise. Push yourself to get to the gym. Push yourself to do five more minutes on the treadmill. Good things will come from this hard work.

Use exercise as stress relief – Instead of popping another anti-anxiety pill or having a glass of wine to cope with a hard day, use exercise as your new outlet. A little bit of stress and rage in a kickboxing class goes a long way.

Habits first, not exercise equipment – Purchasing expensive exercise equipment does not establish a habit for exercise. Build a routine first and then decide months later whether it’s cost effective to purchase equipment.

Get creative – There are many ways to exercise besides going to the gym. Try riding a bike, going for a hike, or doing some gardening to break up a routine that is beginning to feel monotonous. If you can turn housecleaning into cardio, then both your home and heart will benefit greatly.

Find an Exercise Buddy – Grab a friend or neighbor to join you. Adding a social aspect to exercise can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.

Isolate Your Weakness – Is adhering to an exercise regiment a losing battle for you?  Do you not enjoy exercising? Is there no time? Maybe it is feeling self-conscious at the gym? Be mindful of what is holding you back. As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.

Drink Water – It is important to stay hydrated during any exercise session.

Make it Fun – There are countless ways to exercise and have fun doing it. Maybe it is swimming, walking at sunset, entering in a jog for charity. Even watching your favorite TV show while on the treadmill. Exercise does not have to be boring.

This week I am adding Yoga to my exercise schedule as I try to challenge myself to do more!

Now it is your turn!

John C. Bader



So here we are… on the event horizon of a new year. So, I have to be honest; there was much to dread and loathe January 1st 2011. There were financial woes, concerns about wellness and a host of other uncertainties that made the outlook for 2011 not so exciting. I had just turned 40 and still had unanswered questions. There were mistakes made and regrets actualized.


So what recourse was there? What kind of resolutions would bring happiness? It was all so confusing and overwhelming. My ego and false self wanted to simply chug along like business as usual. Yet, deep down there was another voice. It was feeble and meek at first but once I took notice and connected to this quality of True Nature within, I discovered a new energy and empowerment: Not from Jesus or church. Not from self-help books or antidepressants; but from a powerful and healing dynamism inside: A place somewhere between heart and mind where space and clarity resides. Through energy and self-discovery I began connecting to this vast and amazing Responsive Universe.


I did away with credit cards and began severing my attachments to money and material devices. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making money and being successful. But when we attach our well-being and confidence to something so fleeting as currency, we are bound to suffer. With plummeting stocks, soaring credit card debt and foreclosures becoming a daily occurrence, walking away from material and financial attachments was the best decisions ever.


I began bike riding on average 20 miles a week. Bike riding in our local natural preserves was meditative and therapeutic. I have never been in better shape. I also changed my diet: I have cut my meat intake by 50% and dairy by 75%. I have been juicing daily since last summer – kale, spinach, beets; all vegetables I would never eat – yuck! ….Guess what, now I crave veggies!


I have been meditating religiously: Daily sessions of mindfulness from deep meditation to daily affirmations. My meditation regiment has been an amazing facet to my evolution. By letting go of ego and false perceptions, I have allowed the Responsive Universe to take over – to nudge me in directions and areas never imagined. For example, I did not find Reiki and self-healing – Reiki and self-healing found me. By taking heed to the synchronicities and signs that surround me – by finding clarity and awareness for the moment, my entire life over the course of 2011 has transformed into something sublime.


Now, when challenges arise, I no longer get stressed out. There is space and energy for everything that drifts my way. I have fresh perspectives and blossoming creativity that flows from the well of self-evolution. So, as 2012 nears, I have incredible anticipation and excitement for the new year. I see a world of possibilities in 2012 and beyond.


This quality of self-evolution is something we all have within. There is no need to journey to Mecca or worship deities in the form of man. Everything we need is found within. It requires us to open up and settle into the spacious vision of life and love. To be aware of our surroundings with our minds rooted in the present. Believe and love yourself and soon new doors will open. Listen to your heart wish and inner voice. Take power away from ego and false perceptions and take control of your own destiny. Once you understand that the Universe is responsive and what we give will eventually return to the source, there is an unmistakable empowerment actualized. Enlightenment will slowly filter its white light upon you. Just give it a chance…


Be kind to yourself…


Hug your love ones…


Have compassion for your enemies…


Be open to new possibilities…


… and have a Happy New Year!


John C. Bader


About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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