Traffic draws to a crawl and stops. Radio, or earbuds dangling from your ears, blaring out some tunes and then ten commercials in a row asking you to stop in at such and such and pick up your free blah, blah, blah. Car windows rolled down to try and capture a small breeze that wafts lazily over the heat producing cars lined up in rows on the unmoving parking lot of a street.
And then, your mind begins it’s crazy journey about the project that is way overdue and your boss is on your case for taking extra time on lunch break, as more thoughts spin around what you’re making for dinner...or what do you have in the fridge that is even edible...and...and...
Release that Death Grip
Whoa there Nelly, rein in those run-away brain-waves. Breathe. Release that death grip you have on your steering wheel, or handlebars (yes, even bicyclists...this is for you too). Sit back into seat and drop your shoulders from their ever rising trek up towards your ears...take another breath...let it out slowly...take another one...out slowly.
Maybe here is a good time to turn OFF the radio or iTunes playlist. Roll up your windows for a few moments, yes, even if the air conditioning is not working to its peek potential, offer some quiet space to start from. Or take a moment to feel the breeze across your face if you’re perched on a bicycle.
Let’s re-group and realize that what is happening in the world around you is around you, past or future, and not inside of you right here, right now. Days events, even though they might be fresh in your mind, are NOT immediately in front of you - your steering wheel (or bike handles) are, pedestrians are, other drivers are.
You are in this moment, and right where you need to be and stay focused. But while you head is spinning out of control and your “run-away-horsy-mind” seems to be taking you on dizzying mind-scapades of the days events...your focus is here and now...meditate.
Meditation... this word can either strike fear into anyone... oaching muscles, cooky gurus in yellow robes, chanting yogic mantras that you have not a clue as to what they mean or how to pronounce them. But to meditate, you really don’t have to have a degree or a PhD in Mastering Stillness in your mind, to bend spoons, tie your legs in knots or teleport from here to an Ashram in India.
To meditate all you need is one thing...OXYGEN...your body will do the rest. Start by drawing focus to your breath and start counting.
“In - one - out - two - in - three - out - four...” Even “in - one, out - two, in - one, out - two...” focus on what your body is doing naturally. When your mind distract-ively wanders back to other things, focus on counting... start over... and most of all trust yourself, you can and are meditating. Go as high as you want with your counting, and you needn’t even pause when waving a friendly “go ahead” to the person that just cut sharply in front of you...keep counting.
Maybe they needed to get where they are going a few seconds before you, there’s no rush and you’ll get to where you’re going in the “right time” for you.
Meditating inside or on top of a moving contraption with wheels on a public roadway...yes, this may sound dangerous or even a bit scary. Just remember, keep your hands on the wheel/handlebar and your eyes on the road. You don’t need to stop the things you are doing to meditate, you don’t need to close your eyes.
This is Meditation 101 of millions of classes of meditation. Start by breathing...yes, you too have the ability to bring your horsy-mind into the attention the moment deserves.
Everyone breaths, it’s a matter of noticing that you are. There are no right or wrong answers, you do not get bonus points for levitating and you aren’t in the Dalai Lamas “good books” if you spend hours a day chanting 'Om'. Allowing your thinking to focus on one thing at a time, you are meditating, you are entering a “single-minded focus”.
The rest of the scene continues around you like ocean currents as you drift along the surface. Your breathing doesn’t need you to “do” anything...it is happening for you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Hands on the wheel and a smile in your heart...happy commuting...happy drive-by meditating.