Devotion

Dear Reader,

When you’re a child it’s easy. Choose honesty. But you can’t stay a child forever. I used to feel so hurt to see people choosing dishonesty, with their masks, their deceptions, and their parroting voices. How could they? How could they betray their own heart?

Dishonesty is a foreign land. It’s not my home, it never can be. The language there lacks soul and depth. Everything is reduced to numbers, measures, money, the known. Mystery and the unknowable are not tolerated. If you look into the eyes of the people there they look haunted, defeated; they’ll look away. They won’t let their mask slip.

I learn the language so I can navigate through – it is a perilous route not a place to build a home in. I meet people on the journey – some trying to find freedom, and others who wish to remain ensnared. Both can be very persuasive.

We all have to make this journey. If we didn’t go through with being so dishonest, how would we experience the suffering of it, its utter futility and so be motivated to transcend it? Commit then to your true calling and don’t settle for less than what you deserve; kindness, respect, love, and all the support you need.

Recognise the qualities of a true friend. Don’t forget who you really are. Awareness is your guide to honesty. Don’t lose your guide. Love your guide, be devoted and faithful to your guide Awareness. Study his or her skilful means. Spurn desensitivity – desensitising will make you a stranger to your own heart. Awareness, even when painful, will keep you moving.

With Awareness then, strive for home. Your longing for human connection, of taking care of the world within and around you, of being seen for who you really are, what your heart truly desires in and for the world, what you truly need. When setbacks come, don’t be despondent. Trust that as you follow what you know to be true, with integrity and self-inquiry, you will be supported.

Awareness reveals the truth, and the truth is worth revealing. One day when you’ll awaken to joy, to the experience that nothing is greater in life than being the real you, the inner conflict has come to an end. You are shining brightly in the world. You have won freedom, the greatest victory there is. You are a living example how;

When we suddenly flower, and bare the full fruit of what a human being really is, then we go out to another completely.

Mandeep.

Bicycles Made in Canada: Time to Make Things Locally Again?

“How about building our own Made in Canada bicycle frames?” That’s something that Alberto and I have been having the last couple of weeks. Wouldn’t it be cool to actually sell our own single speeds, with a slacker geometry and wider tyres using a 4130 chromoly frame and fork?

The first response to the idea was a general no – it would be cheaper and easier to buy the frames from China. We don’t have the equipment for frame building, and we don’t have the people with skills i.e. the frame builders to undertake such a task. Plus wouldn’t it be too expensive? The usual reaction in the minds of all of us is, against any change.

So, the first thing we did was go online and start scoping out the prices for Single Speed frames from the bicycle suppliers – Lambert, Damco, Babco etc (The Fixie Sniper photographed below).

But it became apparent pretty quickly that there are some major limitations on their offerings. Non removable free wheels? No braze on or bridges to take on racks or mudguards? Tyre widths limited to 35mm, if we’re lucky? These are all features which we both agreed are important for a low maintenance commuter bicycle in Toronto.

So next on the approach was to have a look for frames direct from China. Things opened up a little bit with this approach. We could find frames with the right drop out and eyelets that would enable us to put together a Single Speed with the capability to take on racks, fenders, bottle cages and wider tyres. At twice the price of the stuff we’d seen on the Canadian supplier sites.

But still we’d be missing that kiss of life you get from having something designed and made close to home, from someone you know, who follows the ethos of quality products that are dependable, long lasting and fairly priced, both competitively and from the standpoint of costs.

(This 2019 Brodie Remus may be designed in Canada, but like most mass production bikes, it’s made in the Far East).

Of course, we still don’t know if anything of this is feasible. But as we have started our inquiry, Im sure we will get to the point of being able to make better qualified decisions. At the same time, we are going through tremendous changes in our relationship as citizens with each other, as the money supply flows ever more quickly to the richest in society. It’s up to all of us to challenge that status quo. To make things well and to know who we are making things for has been a valuable human quality over millennia, and is one which we should be loathe to forget completely.