another driving meditation: krishnamurti, radio and distractions

driving home from my workout this morning, i turned on the radio. oh yeah, that piece on the guy with PTSD who raped a girl, and the civic strike, and someone got stabbed overnight, and …

“hey, stop!” i said to myself, “wasn’t i going to do a driving meditation?”

“but i want to hear the news!” (whiny)

“think about it. how much are you going to get out of listening to the news, and how much are you going to get out of doing a little meditation? how much is anyone going to get out of you listening to the news as opposed to meditating?”

“but i want to hear the news! i like it! i like listening to people talking on the radio!”

“it’s distracting. you like being distracted. you’re addicted to being distracted!”

now a third person chimes in, some professorial guy with glasses down on his nose, lecturing on the definition of addiction (“no! dependency!”), the difference between dependencies and compulsions, and the seemingly useful but rather abstract nature of utilitarianism. (and these links/hypertexts belong here more than ever, because that’s exactly what our brains do – hypertext and link, all day long. worse than the internet.)

“can’t you turn the radio back on, please?”

“you’re addicted to these distractions and even more so, the squirrelly thoughts in your heads that get triggered by these distractions. do you want to be addicted?”

“no, i don’t want to be addicted but i want to listen to the radio!”

“you’re addicted to reviewing the past and fiddling with the future. what’s wrong with right here, right now?”

“it’s not so comfortable.”

“how is it not comfortable? and what’s so comfortable with your brain running a mile a minute all the time?”

“i guess i’m used to it.”

the professor in the background is mumbling about eckhart tolle and the value of staying in the present and didn’t krishnamurti

finally it occurred to me that thinking and talking about meditation doesn’t equal meditation. and i actually spent a few moments

just

driving.

(“most of us,” says krishnamurti, “are caught up in words.”)

 (this post appears in the 107th carnival of healing)

10 thoughts on “another driving meditation: krishnamurti, radio and distractions

  1. Matt Charron

    Caught my attention about meditation and driving. I’ve given up listening to commercial radio, only tuning in non-commercial public stations with classical and jazz. I’ve found that the radio news and especially commercials are sooo brain jarring they often disrupt my calm train of “driving thought”.

  2. Matt Charron

    Caught my attention about meditation and driving. I’ve given up listening to commercial radio, only tuning in non-commercial public stations with classical and jazz. I’ve found that the radio news and especially commercials are sooo brain jarring they often disrupt my calm train of “driving thought”.

  3. wayne

    My main source of news is driving to and back from work. I gave up news for Lent once and survived. In fact, I think I was in a better mood when I arrived at my destination. It was the Lenten season a few years back when my president ordered bombs to be dropped on Iraq. I remember driving to work and somehow glancing at a newspaper “vending machine.” The headline was so huge I saw that the war had started.

    anyway, I will try to be present with myself (in silence) while driving this week.

  4. wayne

    My main source of news is driving to and back from work. I gave up news for Lent once and survived. In fact, I think I was in a better mood when I arrived at my destination. It was the Lenten season a few years back when my president ordered bombs to be dropped on Iraq. I remember driving to work and somehow glancing at a newspaper “vending machine.” The headline was so huge I saw that the war had started.

    anyway, I will try to be present with myself (in silence) while driving this week.

  5. Chesa

    How about this as another perspective. Go ahead and listen to the news but listen from a point of observation rather than involving yourself emotionally or mentally. Just listen, watch the world pass as you drive through, observe the colors and your movements, but stay separate. Then you can hear those harsh stories but remain uninvolved. Try it. It becomes a way of living where you are learning not to be swayed by everything that goes on around, making your decisions from within.

    Chesa

  6. Chesa

    How about this as another perspective. Go ahead and listen to the news but listen from a point of observation rather than involving yourself emotionally or mentally. Just listen, watch the world pass as you drive through, observe the colors and your movements, but stay separate. Then you can hear those harsh stories but remain uninvolved. Try it. It becomes a way of living where you are learning not to be swayed by everything that goes on around, making your decisions from within.

    Chesa

  7. isabella mori

    thanks for this point of view. actually, it’s not the harshness of the stories that was a problem. it’s “stories” in and of themselves.

    and thanks for making me think about this! because …

    it’s interesting that we use the word “observe” in this context: a word for the visual. “hear” or “apprehend” would be the equivalent in the auditory world but it’s not quite the same. it doesn’t have the same connotation of detachment as “observe” has.

    personally, i find the sense of hearing to be the most difficult to detach from. wonder whether that’s similar for other people.

  8. isabella mori

    thanks for this point of view. actually, it’s not the harshness of the stories that was a problem. it’s “stories” in and of themselves.

    and thanks for making me think about this! because …

    it’s interesting that we use the word “observe” in this context: a word for the visual. “hear” or “apprehend” would be the equivalent in the auditory world but it’s not quite the same. it doesn’t have the same connotation of detachment as “observe” has.

    personally, i find the sense of hearing to be the most difficult to detach from. wonder whether that’s similar for other people.

  9. Chesa

    You are right about the difficulty of detaching from sound awareness. That is why I use it in the first four beginner meditations in order to teach concentration techniques that will eventually lead to meditation. Again, it’s an observance process and it works very well bringing the individual into a state of awareness without involvement.

    Chesa

  10. Chesa

    You are right about the difficulty of detaching from sound awareness. That is why I use it in the first four beginner meditations in order to teach concentration techniques that will eventually lead to meditation. Again, it’s an observance process and it works very well bringing the individual into a state of awareness without involvement.

    Chesa

  11. Simon

    Hi, my names Si and I’ve been suffering from a lot of stress recently and it’s affecting not just my job but my personal and family life.

    I’ve heard that meditation can help a lot with combating stress, is this true? If so I’d be really interested in giving it a try as I don’t particularly won’t to be taking drugs for stress!!! Like I said though if meditation can help relieve stress I’m willing to try it but I don’t know how to meditate or how to learn to meditate so I was wondering if anyone here could give me some advice or recommend a course to me?

    I’ve done a little bit of research on the internet about meditation but haven’t been able to come to anything conclusive. It’s kind of hard to when I don’t really know what I should or shouldn’t be looking for. So far I’ve seen two courses that have caught my eye, they are http://www.squidoo.com/free-meditation and the other site I’ve seen is something called the Transcendental Meditation Program and the site for that is http://www.tm.org.

    Does anybody know anything about either of these sites? They both sound really good although the Transcendental Meditation sites course is too costly for me but in the first one the guy is offering a free meditation course. What do you guys think? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Kind regards and thanks,

    Simon

  12. Simon

    Hi, my names Si and I’ve been suffering from a lot of stress recently and it’s affecting not just my job but my personal and family life.

    I’ve heard that meditation can help a lot with combating stress, is this true? If so I’d be really interested in giving it a try as I don’t particularly won’t to be taking drugs for stress!!! Like I said though if meditation can help relieve stress I’m willing to try it but I don’t know how to meditate or how to learn to meditate so I was wondering if anyone here could give me some advice or recommend a course to me?

    I’ve done a little bit of research on the internet about meditation but haven’t been able to come to anything conclusive. It’s kind of hard to when I don’t really know what I should or shouldn’t be looking for. So far I’ve seen two courses that have caught my eye, they are http://www.squidoo.com/free-meditation and the other site I’ve seen is something called the Transcendental Meditation Program and the site for that is http://www.tm.org.

    Does anybody know anything about either of these sites? They both sound really good although the Transcendental Meditation sites course is too costly for me but in the first one the guy is offering a free meditation course. What do you guys think? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Kind regards and thanks,

    Simon

  13. isabella mori

    nice to meet you here, simon.

    in meditation, the saying goes: “whatever works, works.”

    try a number of approaches, see what feels right.

    i’d recommend very strongly not just to do it on your own. find someone or a group who has experience, and learn a bit from them. and don’t just do it online.

    there’s lots of free or inexpensive meditation groups out there.

    here are some of my posts that talk about meditation.

  14. isabella mori

    nice to meet you here, simon.

    in meditation, the saying goes: “whatever works, works.”

    try a number of approaches, see what feels right.

    i’d recommend very strongly not just to do it on your own. find someone or a group who has experience, and learn a bit from them. and don’t just do it online.

    there’s lots of free or inexpensive meditation groups out there.

    here are some of my posts that talk about meditation.

  15. Marcus

    Its possible it makes the car a comfort zone and makes your journey seem shorter, pass the driving to the subconscious so you can listen to your favorite news. Also depending on the news, it will influence what mood you go to work in, so I just listen to my favorite music not the radio.

  16. Sharon

    An interesting point Marcus. When we are relaxed and doing something we have done 100s of times its often done without a thought. That’s the subconscious doing the work which is significantly faster than our conscious mind. Listening to the radio or music does not really distract us as we aren’t thinking about whats being said or trying to come up with responses, unlike what happens when using a mobile phone while driving. Mood is important for work, so selecting the right kind of stimulus prior can be very important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *