Some Frequently Asked Motorcycle Monk Questions...

Q - Why do you ride a motorcycle?

A - Well, for seven years my only form of transportation was a motorcycle. I just couldn't put enough money together to buy a car. In Los Angeles taking the bus can be a real time waster, and a motorcycle seemed like an affordable answer to the problem of getting around.

Q - What kind of motorcycle do you ride?

A - A 2001 Suzuki Volusia.

Q - How could you afford to buy a motorcycle as a monk?

A - Well, a few years ago I received a small inheritance when my father passed away. I also inherited his car, which gets me around when it rains, or when I need a more respectable form of transportation.

I often ride the motorcycle when I speak at high schools, colleges and churches. The students seem to like the idea of a monk riding a motorcycle and with gas prices going up, it just makes sense.

Q - As a monk, I thought you weren't supposed to own anything?

A - According to Buddhism I don't really own it, I'm just using it until it's taken away by theft, rust, accident, or my old age. It's really more about not being attached to the stuff you use and think you own.

Q - Why did you go on a 5000 mile motorcycle road trip?

A - I was 52 and felt I needed to do something special. Being a Buddhist monk in one kind of challenge, a 5000 mile motorcycle road trip is another. It was a mid-life thing, I suppose. What is life really all about? Is it more important to be something, or to do something? The teaching's of the Buddha gave me one answer, and I thought a motorcycle road trip would give me another. As it turns out, the truth found in the Dharma (Buddhism) and the truth you find on the road is pretty much the same thing.

My family lives in Wisconsin, so I had someplace to go. I thought a motorcycle road trip would answer stuff like... Could I ride 5000 miles on a motorcycle and not kill myself? Would I be flexible and resourceful enough to meet any problems that might occur? How would it feel to be in the rain, heat, and cold of the open road, hour after hour, day after day? Could I walk after 12 hours in the saddle?

Q - What did you learn?

A - A lot, for instance wherever you go, there you are. Your baggage travels with you. A change of place doesn't necessarily change the space inside your head. You suffer a lot more when you want things to be different than they are. My road trip began and ended in the very same place. I really didn't go anywhere, but what a journey!

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