Meditative Drives

I used to think meditation only came in one form: cross-legged on the floor with perhaps a cup of tea nearby. I thought meditation meant absolute stillness. I thought meditation was something I only did on occasion, but turns out there are all kinds of ways to meditate, one of which I do all the time: driving meditation.

Wild Harmony Farm in Exeter, RI

What is driving meditation? To me, it's all about enjoying my surroundings and moving slow. I'm that girl driving slightly below the speed limit on long back roads with the window rolled down. I'm sure I've annoyed people at times. In fact, I know I have. I've heard the engines rev up and speed around me, but I don't mind. I let them go ahead. Often, I'll even pull over and wave people on because annoying others is not the goal. The goal is to feel the breeze between my fingers, smell the sweet sap along a strip of pines, and let my thoughts roll gently with the curve of the road.

I love to listen to music in the car, but for my meditative drives, I prefer silence. The subtle sounds and sensations soothe me. I love to feel the rumble of pebbles on dirt roads. With each lump and bump, I can feel my thoughts shifting and relaxing. The tension of the day loosens from my jaw and sifts into the air, and my car and I become one, bonded along a languid journey. Together, we get lost and explore new towns. We spot random farms, restaurants, and stores and pull over as we please. We don't pull out the GPS. We depend on each other and instinct to get us around. We allow discovery and spontaneity. We allow the opportunity to relinquish control and together enjoy the journey to wherever our thoughts and wheels end up.

Clearly, I just came back from one of my meditative drives and also have a oddly intimate relationship with my car. Point is, you don't have to be absolutely still to be meditating. Moving meditation is just as effective as sitting meditation and can lead to beautiful, new places.

What kinds of meditation do you prefer? What helps you relax after a long, stressful day?


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