Monday, 10 March 2014

driving a car in rush hour traffic

driving a car in rush hour traffic can be turned into a kind of meditation.

i see the three-wheeler in the front ten feet away and also the bikes on either side--so close that their crash-guards are just inches away from the two sides of my car. and on the rear-view mirror, there is a bus breathing down my neck...

the three-wheeler, the bikes and the bus define the boundaries of the space in which i exist. i become the car that moves in this space that flows in the traffic, without touching anyone, delicately conscious and alert. i am in no hurry. the bus behind is impatient. the bikes on either side are also impatient and are constantly on the lookout for gaps to forge ahead. the three-wheeler in the front moves jerkily out of its impatience.

i see the impatience of everyone. i feel surrounded by the benign urge of throbbing life.



Anonymous said...

അശാന്തിയുടെ നടുവില ഒരു പച്ചില മാതിരി being conscious of what one thought, said or did. Is this satisampajanna?

P. Venugopal said...

sort of sati sampajanna, isn't it? but you give too big an interpretation to a technique one had developed over the years.
long, long ago--nearly forty years back--i used to test whether i can walk along the Mullackal Street in my home town of Alappuzha during the 'chirappu' festival days without bumping into anyone in the crowd. The street is very crowded and people purposelessly stream along it in both directions. you know festival crowds. it is a challenge to walk the entire length of the steet (about one km) without bumbing into another person, not touching anyone. you have to watch out for unpredictable moves from all sides. so watchful and alert you have to be. then, as you say, one feels like a 'green leaf amidst all the disquiet' around you.
a childhood friend of mine, whom all of us friends here had believed to be the best among us driving a car, recently met with a horrible road accident and is battling back to life in hospital. the roads in Kerala are so dangerous nowadays that even a split second's distraction can lead to tragedy.

Anonymous said...

...the IMPATIENCE of everyone while surrounded by the BENIGN urge of throbbing life.

It's interesting that you should use these two words in conjunction to life. On the surface it appears to be a contradiction but something tells me it's not! Care to shed some light on it?! :)

As for the meditative state you've described; a very dear friend of mine advised me some time back to take myself on a long walk, first thing in the morning. He claimed that it would enable me to be 'delicately conscious and alert' and thus get in touch with my innermost self.

You know what? I have taken his advice and it actually works! I have a long way to go but the journey has begun! There's something about looking up at clear skies on a cool, crispy morning while trudging up a hill, that puts things in perspective (the famed, shifting of lens, comes to mind!)
You see things from an elevated perspective (pun not intended)and somehow what seemed of paramount importance not so long ago suddenly feels not so important and urgent after all! You just flow with the current of life that surrounds you! No hurry, no urgency...just tranquility and an assurance that all is well!!!

Wish I could somehow let my friend know!I would so like to thank him!

P. Venugopal said...

the selection of the words are not by mistake--you have guessed right. the impatience of others becomes lovable when you feel good about everything, flowing with the warmth of the flow of traffic, contented with the space you occupy, not in any conflict...
and, sam, i remember telling you about the zoom lens analogy!!! a good one, wasn't it?

P. Venugopal said...

i have listened to an Osho talk in which he speaks about each one of us being like fish in the ocean. the fish is not sepearate from the ocean. it is the ocean.

this reality we will not realise when we lead life sequestered in ourselves. we have to open up, look around, be in the wide open, look up into the skies... a walk in the morning is like setting the right note for the day. you know, a musician, before starting off with his concert, will tune that humming instrument (thampuru) to the right note for him to go on par, to be at his right pitch or whatever it is... a walk in the morning is just like that. you set yourself at the right pitch for the entire day by doing it.

Anonymous said...

ROFL!!! Indeed Mr. V! That was one of your best analogies! I remind myself of it everytime I face a dilemma!!! :)