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Location: McGaheysville, VA, United States

I am happily married to a wonderful, Godly woman. We both love Jesus and worship God. I compose and perform Christian and instrumental music. I am an ordained minister, and my wife and I are founders and pastors of ALM CyberChurch in Second Life (http://almcyberchurch.org).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Driving Meditation

Meditation music and brainwave entrainment audios carry warnings such as "Do not listen to this while driving or operating heavy machinery." And you should heed those warnings. However, the type of driving meditation I'd like to talk about today has the opposite effect.

In the article The Silent Mind, we talked about shutting our "mental motor mouths" so we can experience more of what is going on around and inside us. Practicing mental silence can turn anything into a meditation. For example, my daily walks are times of meditation, composed mostly of just stopping the inner chatter and instead drinking in everything around me.

But what about driving? Is meditation safe while you're driving your automobile? For most types of meditation, I'd say NO. But for what I'm going to call the "Driving Meditation," I'd say it's more safe than driving without it.

Most of us don't realize how much of our driving is semi-automatic. Our conscious minds are a million miles away, or half a million at best. We wander from this to that, traveling the mental universe, and swinging from the past to the future. From time to time we dip momentarily into the present moment and into the driver's seat, and then spring off into the world of our minds once again.

What do you think people are doing when they pull out in front of you? Or run a red light or stop sign? Or nearly run you over when you're walking in the parking lot or crossing the street? Sure, there are drivers who are just careless or even under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But for the most part, they simple are not in the here and now.

When we silence our minds and tune into what's around us, we come into the present moment and the present location. And what better time to do this than when you're driving!

Focus on what you see and hear. Turn off the radio. Sit up straight, like someone who is both relaxed and alert. If or when your mind starts to wander, bring it back. For some people, this will produce a very exciting experience. For others, it will seem incredibly boring. But keep in mind that there are no ordinary moments. Every moment of our lives is bathed in amazing wonder. We need only learn how to see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, and feel it.

Feel free to post a comment, and share your own experiences, questions, or even concerns.

5 Comments:

At October 4, 2011 at 10:04 PM , Anonymous 2290 form said...

In driving any vehicles, especially of course for heavy machinery, simultaneously meditating (in a yoga-esque way) is far from being safe. No matter how adept one is in driving, attention should be put solely on driving.

 
At October 5, 2011 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Rev. Benjamin Faust said...

Meditation is not just closing your eyes or repeating a mantra. In the case of driving meditation, it is focusing completely on the present moment and what you're doing and what's going on in front of you. You said "attention should be put solely on driving." That's exactly what driving meditation is. Most people are thinking about something that happened, or something that's going to happen, or where they're going, etc.

As I said near the end of this article:

"What do you think people are doing when they pull out in front of you? Or run a red light or stop sign? Or nearly run you over when you're walking in the parking lot or crossing the street? ... For the most part, they simple are not in the here and now.

"... Focus on what you see and hear. Turn off the radio. Sit up straight, like someone who is both relaxed and alert. If or when your mind starts to wander, bring it back."

If more people would do this (some call it "mindfulness"), the road would become a much safer place to be.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM , Anonymous professional driving school said...

I am quite open to this idea of meditative driving. That also means blocking all mundane distractions that are hazardous for driving. I think people should get into this philosophy.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM , Anonymous motorcycle accident attorney los angeles said...

That's insane I would not dare to try that driving while your eyes closed? You got some balls to do that kind of insanity.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM , Blogger Rev. Benjamin Faust said...

"motorcycle accident attorney los angeles", try actually reading the article. "Focus on what you SEE and hear. [sic]" You're not really an attorney, are you? lol

 

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