Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Commute Meditation

"Make good use of your down time."

I've heard that wisdom from many sources all my life. However, commuting in Houston has presented opportunities to put it to practice. Not sense Seattle have I rode the bus this much; therefore, it's been a while since I discovered the serenity available when someone else is driving. Because I live in the same neighborhood of my co-workers, we carpool often. The conversations that ensue can be stimulating and enjoyable. Nevertheless, time spent using public transit can be rewarding as well.

The lost art of meditation can be quite foreign to Americans. It should not be lost on Christians, but American Christians do struggle with this: non-busy time spent thinking on those things that the normal pace does not allow for. I have found that bus commute time is well spent on morning or evening prayer, reading, or simply slowing my breathing to prepare for either the work day or coming home. When I consider how many of my peers struggle with high blood pressure, hypertension or stress, I recommend that they fit mass transit into their schedule in some way. It's unlikely they'll take my advice, for so many are addicted to the freedom of private transportation. I argue that the freedom is only taken away if you don't have it as an option. Just because you take the bus to and from work does not mean that you've relinquished your freedom. On the contrary, it is empowering to make decisions about the pace of one's life such that meditation time can be scheduled in through a metro bus ride.

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