Driving is enormous. When we drive, we become larger than we were meant to be. The larger the vehicle, the smaller we actually are.
Encasing ourselves in a metal machine causes us to be effectors. We can affect movement and we can bring destruction. We can also soar.
Defensive driving is critical because it prevents destruction. Enlightened driving is defensive driving uplifted. It requires awareness, compassion, and gratitude. Enlightened driving is nourishing.
To drive with enlightened awareness
- Breathe deeply at traffic lights and in traffic jams.
- Look at the movement. Notice the movement of the traffic and the movement of your vehicle.
- At overpasses and underpasses, sit up straight and think about your posture.
To drive with compassion
- Consider the environment and reduce unnecessary driving to lessen your contribution to air pollution.
- Consider the animals and people, and don’t leave your vehicle running unnecessarily.
- Consider the vehicles around you. They protect their inhabitants as your vehicle protects you. Think of the inhabitants of the other vehicles as you think of inhabitants of your vehicle–all have significance.
To drive with gratitude
- Before a drive, breathe deeply and say a thanks for your vehicle and for your ability to drive it.
- During a drive, notice the working of your vehicle. If something feels or sounds off, get it checked. Notice the working of your body. If something feels off, breathe and then focus on your driving. If the feelings are painful, consider how to resolve them. If the feelings are mild, consider addressing them after the drive.
- After a drive, breathe deeply and say a thanks for arriving safely. If there were moments of fear in your drive, also add a thanks for handling your fear. If there was risk or actual harm in your drive (to you or your vehicle), breathe deeply and save the thanks for when you feel grateful.
Enlightened driving can be applied by passengers in a vehicle and when riding on public transportation.
Driving with awareness and with compassion and with gratitude provides many opportunities for balanced living. Enormous are the benefits of enlightened driving–even more enormous than the enormity of driving!
(The car in the photo was an electric car that I once owned. Unfortunately it was ahead of its time, and the company that provided the electricity went out of business.)
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