Namaste, get out of my way!
Confession: I can count plenty of instances of dharma- and yoga-induced road rage, and generally bad driving, in my spiritual biography. I've cut people off because I'm late for yoga and I've exceeded the speed limit when late for dharma teachings with lama so-and-so.
Once there, those lamas say things like, “when you're driving somewhere in a hurry, why is that everyone else's problem? You are completely absorbed in you at that moment. You think you are the only important person in the world.”
Holy crap, he's so right. Glad I made it in time to hear that.
Dharma teacher Reggie Ray wrote about the pathological busy-ness that led to this in an Elephant Journal story entitled “Busyness is Laziness.” Ray wrote:
“Many, many people tell me ‘I'm having a lot of problems doing this [meditation] practice because I am so busy. I'm really busy. I have a full life.' ...What kind of life is that? Is that a life worth living? ...America is probably the most extreme example of a speed-driven culture...Western people are running from themselves and they use the busy-ness of their lives as an excuse to avoid having to actually live their own life.
I think I'm trying to do the right thing with my busy life: get to meditation practice. But I'm oblivious to the idea of the drive there, or the stop for a coffee, being part of that meditation practice. The lama's message is drowned out by the noise associated with pure speed.
So it's no surprise that even after two hours of meditation, I burst into road rage when slow drivers blocked my rush to get home, see my husband, catch up on his day, start laundry, clean the kitchen and do other busywork to begin anew the race to avoid living.
Trapped behind slow drivers, yelling, mere minutes post-bliss, the absurdity of the situation hit me and I eased off the gas...a little. It's hard to go from speed to zero.