For those of you who are unfamiliar with and/or have never been to Saskatchewan (which tends to be just about anyone who was neither raised here nor has family here), let me fill you in on what November 29th looked like in Saskatoon:
Throw in a lot of ice, dangerously low temperatures (-30 degree Celcius, or -22 Farenheit), and snail-paced traffic, and there you have it: our “Winter Wonderland” that has me wondering why I’m here…
As I was commuting home from work this evening, I was overwhelmed by my monkey mind, a term I borrowed from the accomplished Natalie Goldberg (read an interview article with her by clicking here), who in turn borrowed it from Buddhist culture.
In essence, a ‘monkey mind’ is one consumed with stimulation and busyness, sending us on a preoccupied detour from our true selves and true hearts.
As I recognized my mind flitting between dozens of problems I couldn’t possibly solve from the confines of my car, I decided to turn off my radio, [do my best to] tune out my scattered thoughts, and simply enjoy the ride.
When I arrived at home (admittedly more relaxed than usual), I decided to Google “driving meditation” to see if such a thing existed. It does.
Here’s a snippet from an article I was quite taken by: Ten Tips for Mindful Driving. You can read the full piece here.
- Before you turn the key in the ignition – or, in Saskatchewan, as you allow the ice cube that is your car to warm up – take three deep breaths and really focus on letting go on the out breath.
- Switch off your radio and experience the silence. (Check!)
- Slow down your speed and try driving at or just below the speed limit. (Check, but not by choice.) Doing so reduces tension and feelings of competitiveness.
Just some food for thought on a Thursday! I’ll admit, though, I’m not so sure I have much of an appetite for their suggestion to “wish cars well as they cut you off.” Oh well – it’s a work in progress…
Thanks, Buddha. I owe you one.
What keeps YOU calm and sane during gridlock traffic?