Driving should always be this much fun!
I’m talking about my ride home from an “introduction to meditation” class I took at Montgomery County Community College the other night (Southeast Pennsylvania, about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia). Our instructors talked us into a place where I asked two simple questions: “Who Are You?” and “Who Were You?” We took part in an exercise to find our other “Self,” and I met what I have come to describe as a friendly “pathfinder.”
An image of an oil lamp materialized in my mind, as I sunk deeper into this directed meditation. The lamp was the type used in Biblical times or, as my thoughts revealed, the “magic” lamp that the stars of “A Thousand and One Nights” first appeared, Aladdin and the Genie!
My lamp remained unlit throughout the 10-minute meditation. When the conscious world returned with the opening of my eyes I saw Persia. Persia in the time of that famous book and the Genie and. . . Next I saw a world in which I have only recently discovered, the world with the love poems of the Sufi, a religious sect out of ancient Persia whose adherents wrote volumes of enchanting verses to their “Beloved.”
I first had contact with the Sufi following Part Three of a three-part post I wrote at the beginning of my Blogging here. I spoke about how we can serve God by serving Humanity and got one of those “related posts” for an article describing the Sufi belief in serving God through the serving of all creatures in Creation, particularly, the ones who need it the most, us humans.
I next encountered the Sufi in a book which exposed me to a taste of their poetry and how I had “longed” to be with my “loved one” all of my life, and that it was this “longing” that constituted the real creation of the Love, a “yearning” to be with God, the “Beloved.”
What can Love of God possibly have to do with loving the ride home from Blue Bell to Conshohocken, PA?
“Working meditation” is that type of openness to the moment, the “living in” the moment that mindfulness practice generates. I call it my “love cruise,” when I am driving in that state of awareness. For the first time, I noticed the road spanned hills and valleys, coasted “down” a section of the land and then “up” the next. I had never bothered to notice the lay of the road before; never took the time to “feel” its contours even though I had driven this way dozens, perhaps even, hundreds of times.
I drove my car “mind fully,” and was “alive” in each moment, allowing myself to enjoy the newly seen jaunt from school to home. I wondered what it must have been like before they concreted or paved over this road, this one-time path possibly first walked by the Lenni-Lenape Indians. Later, the Welsh and German farmers in the “hinterlands” of Philadelphia who called the different lays of the land by such old names as “crests,” ridges,” and “valleys,” anything but the word “road.”
I felt connected with the roadway. I felt in tune, in one with this old time-worn path.
Meditation lets me experience the mundane this way, enriching my every step, my every drive.