Meditating on the Road

I have a love affair with a VW Westphalia that I picked up in Germany in May 1991, drove around Europe with my girlfriend Karen and finally shipped back to Canada. We have been trusty companions for the past nineteen years and have taken many long distance adventures including Ontario, Kansas and numerous trips to California. We have an agreement that the VW will never strand me and in fact for the past eighteen years breakdowns have always been within relatively easy reach of assistance. And there have been a few problems including voltage regulator, fuel flow regulator, cracked cylinder head, numerous exhaust systems amongst others. On one occasion I drove over a thousand miles to my friend Alicia’s place in the Eastern Sierra of California to have my front axel break in her driveway. I shuddered at the potential for this to happen during the many miles of deserted road I had just completed but so far I have been protected for the 282,000 km we have driven together.
I have just returned from such a trip to Sedona in Arizona. I drove over 5,500 incident free kilometers. I may write more on the trip at some other time but this particular story concerns developing a meditation practice on the road. I have always found long distance driving somewhat meditative particularly in open desert or quiet forested countryside and in my quest to open my heart I like to focus positive energy in those who are a part of my intimate circle. On this last trip the form seemed to coalesce and I would like to share it.
I start with centering myself and on the in breath sense a flow of energy through my crown chakra down into my heart. Then on the out breath I feel the energy flowing out through my heart directed at someone I want to support. The words in my mind follow this refrain “Heart to heart, soul to soul, I hold you in love and light. May the loving power of the cosmos flow through me to you.” I repeat this a number of times continuing to focus my attention on the chosen one before repeating a loving kindness meditation that goes like this:
“May you be happy, may you be free from suffering, May you be free from anxiety, fear and stress. May you be loving, joyful and at peace. May you live in perfect radiant health. May you be divinely guided. May the universe fulfill your deepest desires. May your soul find its highest expression. May you be fulfilled.”
Then I sigh through my heart to complete before I start with someone else. I have no idea whether anyone ever realizes that I am thinking of them but I can drive for miles focusing on this practice. I usually place my left hand on my heart while doing it and notice a warmth that seems to flow through my heart by the end of the session. Miles fly by in a wonderful way.

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