I confess – it took me nearly a year to become obsessed with my iPod. I’d always wondered what the buzz was about, why so many people walked around with little plugs in their ears. Then I connected to an age old human love – story telling. I soon spent every ‘free’ moment listening to books on tape. I graduated to podcasts and now, I swing between the odd freedom of being without – when the battery’s dead, I haven’t downloaded anything new, and listening as much as I can. Sometimes my rebellious side prods me to step outside the door and enjoy the naked truth of my morning walk, travel without tech if you will, letting the day simply greet me.
Amazing that silence can be so radical. It takes an unanticipated discipline to keep from filling every moment and just be. The gifts are mighty. Creative whispers are drowned out when my ears, my brain is flooded with others words and ideas. There’s no space for them to swirl and find footing. There’s no chance for a niggling problem to settle into resolution, like a Chinese box opening suddenly, when all my attention’s overshadowed. My body too whispers for attention: the ankle that needs stretching, the old injury that can compromise the day if not worked just so.
The same happens when traveling. The anticipation of an adventure is delicious and can be overpowering. You can settle into a long drive, a long flight, long ride and tune everything else out. Or you can choose moments to listen deeply – interior and outer.
Discovery is often just a matter of awareness. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said that knowledge is structured in consciousness. If I may be terribly mundane with that profundity, so too an everyday commute might hold surprising beauty or opportunity that you’ve missed for years, but for some reason it pulls you in right now. Everything can shift and suddenly your commute becomes a pilgrimage.
The destination doesn’t always matter, the juice is in the journey. Too bad we find it so difficult to travel without tech.
copyright 2010, Elaine Masters, RYT, author of Drivetime Yoga and Flytime Yoga, http://www.DrivetimeYoga.com