Zen and The Art of Driving Awareness.

I am on a drivers awareness course in Brighton .It’s brilliant. I got up at 5am and I’m here in Sussex at 8am being taught how to drive and also, it seems, how to live. it’s all going a bit Buddhist. “learning to drive is different to passing your test” says the teacher. So true I nod So true. I consider sitting cross legged in the lotus position on my chair. “prioritise the journey above the destination” .I think about my life “When you can take this pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave”. Okay he didn’t say that. The lesson continued..

“If a driver thinks he will not be caught he will drive faster – why?”. I think of my private moments. Who am I when no-one is looking? He sees us thinking on the question. “choose funnel vision not tunnel vision – see what’s near and what’s far at the same time.” Cool. I love this. It makes me think of breaking the speed limit again just so I can come on this course. “If you see a problem early. Slow down”. How many times have I not slowed down in life when I should've. “we don’t call them accidents we call them crashes”. How many times have I said something was “an accident” when actually it was a crash I could've avoided.

Practically this course is great and metaphorically it is kinda religious. If you are fortunate enough to be offered this course via your offence then gratefully utilize the opportunity to experience how structured teaching should be done. It was four worthwhile hours spent of my life. There’s nothing like Buddhism for a hardcore reality check, the driving awareness instructor tells us “we call it a near miss when in truth it’s a near hit.” He holds out his palms in a gesture of openness. I see my chance and grab the pebble. Outside I open my palm and it isn't there. It isn't there and then I hear the course tutor's words echo in my head “It is not the pebble you need to catch but the ripples that came from it”. Ooooo…

3 thoughts on “Zen and The Art of Driving Awareness.

  1. It's almost worth speeding up and tripping the radar camera just to go on such a course. You sell it too well, Mr Sissay! Fitch

  2. I'm reading a zen writing book thing right now ('Writing down the bones' by Natalie Goldberg). Totally not my kind of thing… that's why I'm reading it!

  3. am so jealous – i just got 3 points and £60 fine for my speeding offence – i wonder how fast i have to go before I get my zen-like lesson? Then again – how many times have you been caught speeding now Lemn….I still remember that poor car of yours – was it a rover? It went from pristine to scrap yard in a matter of weeks LOL!

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