Cruise Control

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It’s that delicious feeling of driving with ease. No traffic, open road. Turn on the cruise control. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride. And suddenly, the trip you’re on becomes an easeful journey rather than something you have to get through.

When we think about how to optimize for cruise control conditions, we pick a time to drive when there will be fewer people on the road, so there’s a better chance we won’t run into traffic gridlock. We choose big roads where we can go at fast speeds, safely. And we choose a destination that’s far enough away that we’ll really spend some time on the road.

Meditation can be a lot like driving. You can use it really effectively in short bursts, to get from point A to point B. But you get a lot further, a lot faster, when you optimize for cruise control conditions.

Pick a time when other people won’t have demands on you (in person or virtually). Choose a place to sit, and a position, that you can maintain comfortably. And settle in for a good chunk of time. Watch the journey unfold as you sit with your thoughts, sensations and emotions, and it becomes easier and easier to just be with what is.

Finding the meditation practice that works for you is a personal combination of navigating the logistics of your life, following your curiosity, and developing your inner awareness. This week, ask yourself, what’s the next step for you? Is it sitting just five minutes longer than usual, when you meditate on your own, and seeing what happens? Is it coming to class, to remind yourself what it’s like to sit with other people? Is it doing a day-long retreat, or longer?

Whatever you choose as a next step, may it take you to that open road, where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. We’ll be right there with you.

Hannah Knapp