back in the 90s, i spent a few years teaching a weekly meditation class at our local YWCA. it was at 5:00 pm, so i had to drive through thick traffic right into the hub of downtown.
one day i felt i had not meditated enough myself to present a good meditation class, but there was no time left to catch up on that. as i started driving i thought to myself, hey, why not do a driving meditation?
it turned out to be a great idea, and i’ve done it many times since. the benefit is not only the relaxation, focus and peace of mind that often comes with meditation but almost invariably shorter driving time! because there is this complete focus on driving and traffic, i flow much better with the traffic and make better driving decisions.
it is also a safer driving experience. (as opposed to the other day, when i was decidedly not doing a driving meditation and listening with rapt attention to a radio report on the danger of using cell phones in the car – and almost caused an accident because i was not paying attention to the road).
how do you do a driving meditation?
set the intention that what you are paying attention to is
- your body movements while driving
- your thoughts, focusing only on driving and traffic
- being part of the flow of traffic
notice the feeling of your hands on the wheel, notice the movement of your foot as you step on the brake.
notice the surroundings that matter. consciously check the mirrors. notice the cars flowing to each side of you.
feel how you and the car move through space, just as all the other cars do it. it is an intricate and surprisingly harmonious dance.
if extraneous thoughts come in, don’t get upset but also don’t follow their siren song. just notice that they’re there and return your attention to driving and traffic.
when everything is purring along nicely, for example, when you wait at an intersection, notice your breathing.
try it and let me know how it works for you!
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