Two days ago, I got into a car accident. It’s been 14 years since my last car accident, before this one. I was on a highway heading home. It was Sunday evening, and there was a bit of traffic. I was behind a black mini-van. The light turned red, and the mini-van in front of me slammed on its brakes. I slammed on my brakes too, but I was too close. I bumped into the back of the van. My bumper, hood, and grill are damaged, and I dented the hatchback door of the mini-van. Thankfully, all passengers are fine.
After this accident, I reflected on mindfulness. Sunday morning, before my car accident, I was in my meditation group, and our monk talked about his driving lessons, and he said the instructor told him, “You must drive mindfully.” Now I wince silently. I did not drive mindfully. To be honest, I was looking at my cell phone just before the accident happened. I know, I know. I should not look at my phone while driving! I tell my kids this! Now I am living with a consequence of my actions.
I know accidents happen. I forgive myself for not driving carefully, and I will be more mindful when I drive (with my cell phone turned off). I realize when I am not a careful driver, I put myself and others in danger. However, I am proud of myself because I remained calm during and after the accident. In the past, I would have been emotionally upset and crying. I think my daily meditation is helping me remain calm in stressful situations.
My new mindfulness vision while driving: When I get in the car, I will turn off my cell phone (unless I use my phone for directions). I will turn my music on low. I will keep my eyes on the road, and I will be watchful for cars, people, animals, and objects. I will slow down. I will keep my mind on the road (no autopilot driving).
PLEASE DRIVE SAFE!