Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Peace on the Wheel

One of my favorite things about living in Taos County is a phenomenon I'd like to refer to as the "Wave on the Wheel" or the "Peace on the Wheel." Here's what happens: when you're driving along one of the less busy streets, often the driver in the car that's passing you going the other way, will, while keeping their hands on the wheel, either, wave to you or flash you a brief peace sign. "That is so nice!" I remember thinking when I first moved here and I'd enthusiastically wave back, "HIIIIIIII!"

I admire one of my friends who waves at everybody all the time. Even though I don't always practice it, it's not lost on me that this is a great idea. Maybe it's because I'm still a baby driver, but I think for lots of us, it can be easy to develop animosity towards other drivers while on the road; or at least to cultivate feelings of otherness. There's lots of large loud trucks around here. Some of them even have flames on the sides, or a skull and crossbones on the back. When a big noisy one is driving faster than me, without meaning to, I can think of it as the bad guy. I remember being a kid in the front seat and my dad yelling at another car, "What are you doing you twit?" I felt like our car was a team onto itself and all of the other cars were different teams; someone was bound to loose.

Thanks to my upcoming Partner Yoga Workshop, I have been reflecting on one of my favorite quotes about yoga, "If we are interested in yoga, we might ask ourselves, what is yoga interested in? Yoga has one goal: enlightenment, a state in which separateness of self and other dissolves in the realization of oneness of being. What holds us back from that realization is a false perception of reality. Instead of perceiving oneness, we see separateness, disconnection and otherness. Because the term yoga refers not only to the goal of enlightenment but also to the practical method for reaching that goal, all of the practices must address the basic issue of “other.” Otherness is the main obstacle to enlightenment.” (Gannon, 2008, 22).

Turns out, I don't want to feel like I'm on opposite teams as the car to my left, or the one in front of me; I want to practice kindness and oneness whenever I can. I want us to be in this thing together and Peace on the Wheel, hokey as it may sound, totally helps.

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