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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Traffic In/Out

It's rush hour again. 

You're stuck in that traffic again. 

Anxiety and impatience takes the hot seat in your cerebral dominion. Anger creeps up like a teenager trying to sneak into a punk concert. The voices in your head start to make an interrupted appearance. 

" Why did I take this way again?" 
" I have to get a new job!" 
" I need to move somewhere else, the traffic here is terrible!" 
" What is the deal here?! I'm going to be late!" 

Well here is the deal. 
You are in a city with a lot of crowded people. People need to work and commute. Lots of people are constrained to similar schedules. You get the idea.

Now, let's look at the idea of getting mad at traffic after hearing why traffic happens in the first place. Traffic provides an awesome opportunity to become more mindful. An unconscious reaction is that of aggression and discomfort. This is part of the monkey mind. You are trying to get from A to B and your ideal projected commute has been extended and interrupted. 

So all the control relies in how you react to the situation of traffic. If you are running late, you are running late. Becoming aggressive holds no value in the situation. Traffic holds many teachings. 

Some bad traffic happens. 
Look around you.
Breathe again. 
In fact, keep breathing. 

Accept what you can't change. 
Close your eyes if you can, but not too long. 

Focus on everything going on.
You might see the disdain or sadness in other drivers' faces. It's kinda silly ain't it? 
Why be trapped in an unconscious bubble or aggression and angst if you have the choice to be present? 

Each traffic situation is an opportunity to look inward. You're forced in a seat in a vehicle. You're responsible for driving a big hunk of metal. What a great time to look inward. To recenter. To reevaluate. 

Meditation in Traffic.

Now that we have covered traffic in the outside world, let's look at the traffic within you and me. 

There's a pile up of thoughts within your inner highway. Some are making you foggy headed and some are making you anxious. Understandable. There's a pile up of unaccomplished tasks, things you think you "should" do, resentments for past people, regret for past mistakes and unfulfilled dreams. It's a mess.

Many of us try to simply shoo off our inner traffic. That seems to work for a couple of miles, but alas it gets worse moments later. You want to move In between lanes. In between thought cars. In between the lines. Like a rat, you are trying to find the fastest way to the cheese. 

But what is causing the traffic? 
Are you patient and relaxed enough to really slow down and reasses where the traffic is actually coming from? 

Is it one big thought backing up other smaller thoughts? 

Is it the incessant urge to do something or occupy the mind with a dull and small rewarded task? 

Are the thoughts competing for your attention? 

Just sit. 
If the traffic is bad, just sit. 
Don't try to manipulate the thought traffic.
If you can't sit, stay still. Let the thoughts declutter and maneuver themselves. 
Watch the traffic. 
Move with it. 

Analyze the impermanence of it all. 
The value of it all. 
Sit in that traffic.
Breathe in that traffic. 
Be grateful for the traffic. 

Once you see the traffic for what it is in your head, the real world traffic will have no effect on you. Once again, it is like a mirror. It is the inner reflecting the outer. When they vibe together without resistance, you have made peace with what is. You are without question, what is. 


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