Thursday, February 19, 2015

On "Zen Driving" by K. T. Berger ***

I first read this book in graduate school and have been rereading it in short spats over the past few months. I read the book as part of my research a paper I wrote about Jayne Anne Phillips's Fast Lanes. In that book of stories, there is a short story in which one of the characters harps on her love of driving. She seems to enter a sort of zen-like state. I'd seen this book in the store for many years, and it came to mind as I read the story. I thought there might be a connection.

For a book on the basics of Zen Buddhism, I suppose this book will do the trick, but it's not really a good place to start, because it tends to simplify things a bit too much (and puts it in too narrow of a field of study), which in turns also means it's unlikely to be much use to someone who has spent much time actually reading about the subject (because it's too basic). Really, the book reads like a very heavily commercialized version of a subject that probably needs a bit more sophistication in terms of discussion.

In short, we can reach a kind of Satori if we learn to live in the present moment and go with the flow of traffic. If we accept whatever situation we're in, then we won't stress--and we'll be better drivers. This advice seems wise, and it was nice to be reminded of it. Less worry, more ease.

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