"Stop and Go" Roadworks Meditation
“Stop and Go” Roadworks Mindful Meditation
Driving the road between Hermanus and Stanford for now having at least two “stop & go” experiences may lead many to an ‘unwanted’ emotional challenge.
If you are not karmically provided with a well-timed drive through the “stop & go’s” chances are you will have to sit and wait at either one or both so-called inconvenient pauses.
Given that the roadworks are currently a reality and there is nothing we can do to change the physical aspect of the situation we need to be reminded that we can change our attitude. Considering ‘we can’t change the world, but we can change the way we live in it’, we do have an option as to how we deal mentally with the current road-works reality.
Many may feel frustrated, irritated, helpless or even angry when having to sit at the “stop & go”. Many, it is believed have chosen to even avoid ‘life’ by not venturing on the road between Hermanus and Stanford. If we avoided everything that involved a little discomfort, we would be missing out on life or not living in this world. So, embrace life, as it involves a certain amount of discontentment or suffering at some level or another.
If you chose to avoid “life” between Hermanus and Stanford and the experience offered at either end of the road, then so be it.
However, there are those of you who have no option but to travel this journey every day, perhaps twice a day or more or at least once a week, be it on the weekend.
This interrupted journey offers you the possibility to make the most of the “stop & go”, by converting the ‘inconvenience’ into a mindful experience that will benefit you not only for the wait but will positively impact the rest of your day.
It’s what I call the “Stop & Go meditation”. For those who do not understand the concept of ‘meditation’ or think you can only practice it sitting in a quiet space (or retreat centre) here is the good news.
Meditation is a method of focusing your attention, so that you calm the “monkey mind” and relax the body. (The subconscious resides in the body – but that explanation is for another day).
Those who believe meditation means to empty the mind or to try and stop the mind from thinking, good luck with that impossible task.
Meditation does not mean to stop thinking, you will only end up thinking about trying to think about nothing. So, you can never stop thinking, but you can focus your attention on a single object, concept, mantra or phrase.
Please don’t be put off by the term meditation, as anybody can learn to meditate to benefit mental and physical health, no matter what your philosophy and beliefs about life are.
Back to the “Stop & Go” situation. To stop yourself from reacting to the situation you cannot physically control with negative emotion (frustration, irritation, anger, etc.) try to make the most of the short (come on, its only about 15 minutes, if that) period one’s journey is interrupted for.
The “Stop & Go Meditation”
1. Take 3 deep breaths – in and out through the nose
2. Now focus your attention on your breath – going in, going out, going in, going out …..
3. See where you feel your breath the most clearly and choose to focus your full attention in that area – at the tip of your nose, in your nose, left or right nostril, your throat, your diaphragm, your lungs, your belly, etc.
4. Focus your attention on your chosen area where you feel your breath.
5. Then Breathe - going in, going out, going in, going out …..
Try this short “Stop & Go Meditation”, once you have stopped and turned off your vehicle. (It’s important not to meditate while driving a vehicle)
This is a very basic breath-focus meditation, but before you know it the vehicle in front of you will be starting to move forward and you will be on your way again.
Now focus on the road again and keep your following distance (to prevent your vehicle being hit by a flung-up stone from the roadworks and in case of the vehicle breaking suddenly in front of you)
There are some other meditations one could apply at the “Stop & Go’s” such as a short Body-scan meditation, but the Breath-focus meditation should help calm your mind for now.