Before we discuss what Zen Bikerism is, we must first explain why it is. After that we’ll see who wants to come along for the ride.
The trouble with religion–one of the troubles with religion in the modern world is that the institutions tend to take over from the sentiments which gave them rise. That, in turn, leads to the problem (here in the West at least) of religions being seen as nothing more than a means by which to create profitable, controlling institutions.
Nothing could be further from the truth; the purpose of any religion when stripped of its details is the cultivation of a personal relationship with the forces of Nature.
The only thing rolling Zen Bikerism over the line between “philosophy” and “religion” is the element of belief, that one can cultivate a personal relationship with the forces of Nature and in so doing develop into one’s “best self.”
Now, another problem with religion in the modern, Western world is the fact that most people tend to leave it in the church or temple and forget all about it until next week. (Which again, leads to some ugly reputations for those of a spiritual bent.) I have long said that one’s spiritual life should not be separate from one’s temporal life, and the motorcycle lifestyle is a perfect example of how to keep the two together: up in the saddle, a single pew in a temple whose roof is the entire sky, one is very much connected to all of Nature and one’s Self in a way that is unique, real, and practical. That’s uplifting in a way that can best be described as “spiritual” and so here we are with a religion again.
The framework is there, let’s use it, is all I’m saying. Besides, the word “biker” is right there in the name; if you hang around bikers for any length of time, you will come across the acronym “MLLH&R” which stands for “Much Love, Loyalty, Honor and Respect.” These ideals are things I wish to do my part to preserve and perpetuate, and at the bottom of it, that’s what this endeavor is trying to accomplish.
Plus travel, booze and sex are implied rather than condemned, so it’s got that going for it.
There will be no dogma here; if I try to convince you of anything, it is only that it is OK to be you. Zen Bikerism is just an example of how to live a life of honor with the courage of one’s convictions and evolve on a personal level, regardless of anyone else’s opinion of either the process or the end result. (Again, “biker” right there in the name.)
Zen Bikerism, therefore, shall be a blanket term, the way that “Hindu” is, in that it describes no formalized belief (and last I knew, there were 600 different varieties of that venerable faith in the southern tip of India alone. I also don’t wish to replace whatever faith you may have to begin with, only to enhance it; and this is neither new nor unique–there are Christian Buddhists and Jewish Atheists–there are as many different paths to enlightenment as there are people on the planet. A bike is a fine vehicle by which to travel those paths, but by no means the only one.
It’s not for everyone.
But if it is for you, then get the full benefit from it. Ride to live, live to ride, the spirit that moves you is your best guide.
That is the Truth. And the Truth rides a motorcycle.