After referring back to this post from a couple of years ago, I thought it might be helpful to repost it again. I added a fun image to round out the picture! Enjoy.
Feb 2012 – I am not sure when I started to do this but over the past month or so I have developed a new habit of driving in silence. When on the road these days I usually turn off the radio and put my cell phone in a place where I cannot access it. It has been an amazing practice and one that I highly recommend.
This didn’t happen all at once. I began this new practice by turning off the radio during commercials as I felt like I was being screamed at most of the time. So often though I would slip into unconscious habitual behavior and my fingers would unconsciously find the radio button and turn the screaming back on. Sometimes several minutes would go by before I even realized that the radio was back on!
Before this all started happening I was not a dedicated radio listener, so it’s not like I am gave up something that I really enjoyed. Honestly, I love listening to podcasts while driving though that takes effort to set up, find the podcast and press play. I found that for my short ten to fifteen-minute commute from one our centers to my home, this just wasn’t happening.
So now my car has become my center for silence, my Zen center if you will. ! My alone driving time has become mine in which I decompress and sit in quiet. Of course if my teenagers are in the car it is anything but silent, but when I am alone, my car morphs into my oasis of peace.
I must tell you all that this is a particularly profound experience after a yoga practice. Give it a try and notice how much brighter the sky appears and how vivid the landscape really is. To carry your steady and clear mind with you onto the roads is also a gift to everyone around you. It may make you drive slower, be kinder to other drivers around you though your tranquil driving just may further piss off the majority of stressed out commuters on the road with you.
Driving can be a practice in mindfulness and your car can become your oasis of silence. It’s definitely worth a try. Now I won’t go so far as to light a candle in my moving Zen center but I have thought about some incense and Tibetan prayer flags. What do you think?
I would love to hear your experiences!