Zen and the Art of Egoless Driving, Lesson 2

Jim Morrison growled "Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel." Sage advice while driving. However, certain occasions arise when we are tempted to lift one hand from the wheel and extend a particular digit in response to some traffic transgression that has occurred against us. We used to call this gesture the Tampa Bay Turn Signal.

Try this the next time you feel like thrusting that one particular digit at another driver: use all ten. In Eastern traditions to bow to each other as a greeting is very common. This is actually more than just a greeting. The bow, with palms pressed together like a Western prayer, a hands breadth away from the nose, is the 'sacred' in you bowing to the 'sacred' in the other. Call it the sacred or Buddha or Vishnu or God or whatever you would like. Or think of it as recognizing our common humanity in each other. It is hard to stay pissed off at someone you are blessing.

As we discussed in Egoless Driving - Lesson One, there is no reason to allow any more stress into your life than you already have. Let it go by recognizing that you are the same as the other driver. Occasionally, you get distracted too. The act of letting go, forgiving if you like, empowers you to leave it behind. You won't think about it all day. The stess will be gone - evaporated not from the heat but from the coolness of your response.

So next time you're tempted to flip, try bowing. Put your palms together and nod your head slightly. Its as much for you as it is for them. You may want to wait until they pass by. If it turns out, in traffic, you bless someone you know, they'll wonder even more about you.

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