May 02, 2013
When the rubber hits the road is a great time to practice lovingkindness, and I mean literal rubber and a literal road.
There’s a lot of irritation involved in driving, right up to the extreme of road rage. It can be irritating to be in slow traffic, or busy traffic, or to be cut off, or to be held up by roadworks, or stuck at traffic lights.
We’re emotionally cut off from other drivers because we’re all in our own semi-private metal boxes, and so we don’t have access (usually) to their body language and facial expressions. So we often take things personally that aren’t necessarily personal. As comedian …
Oct 25, 2011
The act of driving requires our full attention. I know of a woman who drove through her garage door one morning because she was on automatic pilot and didn’t notice that it was still closed! The lapse of a split second can have devastating results. How do you approach your morning drive?
Do you use the morning drive to prepare for the day to come? Is driving a placeholder, a time for fitting in extraneous activities? Do you let the frustrations of the road soak into your body and spirit, filling you with anger or draining you of energy? A one-minute mindfulness approach to driving can improve your emotional …
Dec 16, 2010
Usually we post news stories without comment, but this one I can’t let pass.
Russell Brand (an english comedian and actor — I had to look him up) said “I’m using meditation to make me a better driver.” Cue the “warning” (Los Angeles, Beware: Russell Brand Meditates While Driving) that he meditates while driving.
I guess if you think about meditation as something you do with your eyes closed then the idea of meditating while driving sounds pretty scary. But if you can do walking meditation (and yes, that’s done with the eyes open) then you can also do driving meditation. In fact, I do it all the time. Somehow, I think it’s the drivers who are spacing out as they …
Dec 11, 2010
There are pitfalls in listening to mindfulness tapes in the car. Once I was talking to a woman at a workshop I was leading in Spokane, and she related that she’d once been so engrossed in a mindfulness tape by Thich Nhat Hanh that she’d rear-ended a truck. It’s for that sort of reason that I’ve never acted on any of the suggestions various people have made over the years that I should record a CD about mindful driving.
Michele McDonald, however, is made of braver stuff, and with both hands firmly (but gently) on the wheel she set off to record guided meditations that help …
May 30, 2008
Collectively we’re spending longer and longer commuting: The average American takes around 30 minutes to get to work, and in large cities the drive can take much longer. In rural areas commuting can also eat up the miles and hours: I know two Buddhists in New England who each drive 1000 miles (1600km) per week.
Even without those extremes, commuting makes for a lot of time spent in cars, trains, buses, and even for some people airplanes. It’s not always pleasant time either; stop-go traffic is increasingly common, public transport can be crowded and unreliable, civility seems to be on the decline, and the term “road rage” has entered our lexicon as …