How to Turn Your Commute into a Spiritual Experience

How to Turn Your Commute into a Spiritual Experience

commute as a spiritual experience

I have a long commute and you might too. Even if your commute isn’t an hour like mine, even a fifteen-minute drive, subway, or bus ride can be turned into a beautiful spiritual experience.

Read about the five ways I’ve transformed by commute into a spiritual experience and how you can too.

1. Meditative Music

If music is one of your favorite ways to connect with God then playing some meaningful and meditative music on your commute can be a great way to turn your commute into a spiritual experience. 

I’ll be speaking from my own experiences, so please adjust these recommendations to your own tastes.

 A lot of times I will start out with a calming piece of music. No, it doesn’t need to be Gregorian chant or a Tibetan Buddhist meditation, but just something that’s not going to raise your blood pressure.

If you are feeling tired first thing in the morning you can use music to wake you up and feel enlightened. I have had some very intense moments of spiritual awakenings while listening to the rock band, Tool.

Tool?, Yes, tool. I will write more on this band in another post if you haven’t heard of them but the lyrics of many of their songs are incredibly insightful and powerful. 

Generally, I want to set the stage for spiritual thinking. I will listen to something that puts me in a certain state of mind, of calmness, of thoughtfulness in a way. Even in a state of worship or occasionally ecstasy. If you open yourself to these experiences, they will happen for you.

Here are a five pieces of music to inspire you on your “spiritual commute”.

  1. Kyrie Eleison by Stellamara
  2. Canticle of Ecstasy by Hildegard von Bingen
  3. Sufi Meditation music
  4. Parabol/Parabloa by Tool
  5. Beethoven’s 9thsymphony (the Ode to Joy) I really love the video of the flashmobs who play these pieces. Seeing the amazement and tears in peoples eyes is a delight to see.

2. Audiobooks

Inspirational and spirituality based audiobooks are another great way to tune in to your spiritual side and feel that connection with God. Again this will be based on personal preferences and how you like to connect with the divine. 

Right now this is what I’m listening too, The Universal Christ, by Richard Rohr.

I would highly recommend Father Richard Rohr. He’s a progressive Franciscan author who writes and teaches about the Cosmic Christ, contemplative prayer, non-duality, and radical compassion. I actually love listening to his voice. I really prefer audio books that have the author read the book. I think the authors’ energy and authenticity resonate more with me than a professional audiobook reader does.

Other books by Richard Rohr I would recommend would be The Art of Letting Go and Falling Upward.

Another author I live I love reading and listening to is John Donahue. He was an Irish poet who passed away in 2009. I would call him a philosopher poet who is absolutely gifted with words.

His beautiful Irish accent is always a joy to listen to, and I always come away feeling inspired by his poetic way with words. He really was a gift to the world.

My favorite recommendations for John O’Donohue would be Beauty: The Invisible Embrace. A wonderful book to listen to that is narrated by the author with so many insights on how beauty touches our souls.

He also has a great audiobook titled The Invisible World which sheds light on the beauty of Celtic spirituality and prayer.

3. Poetry

This has been one of the most powerful ways I can feel the spirit while driving. Combining the spoken word, poetry, and prayers with music is an amazing experience and sometimes I have not wanted my commute to end!

Here is my favorite recommendation.

Hafiz, the Scent of Light translated and read by Daniel Ladinsky.

The sensual poetry of the Persian poet Hafiz is a religious experience in and of itself. Combine the gentle voice of the translator, …. With some mesmerizing middle eastern music and you are transported to another time and place. 

Here’s a sample:

4. Just Being

At some point, I turn off all distractions and I just, observe. I just still my thoughts and let the beauty of my surroundings take over.

For example, I recently appreciated a flock of geese flying over the highway. They were flying in perfect formation, and it is such a beautiful testament to the order of things.

Nature is a perfect example of how beautiful life can be. Even if things are not going great, sometimes just seeing the beauty of nature can uplift our spirits. This makes the commute a worth while spiritual practice.

5. Practice Loving Kindness to Other Drivers

I’ll look at other drivers near me and it doesn’t take long to notice someone driving aggressively.

Maybe another drive has a really old car and it looks like the bumper is going to fall off or you get passed by someone who looks angry or stressed out.

This can be a perfect time to practice compassion for others.

Instead of getting angry and more stressed as a result just say a prayer for them. Yield, slow down, don’t engage anyone in aggressive driving and just be the peacemaker

I’m speaking from experience as I’ve gotten really worked up about somebody bad driving and think about how you will respond.

Send them some prayers and show them loving kindness instead. This is the most important way you can turn your commute into a spiritual experience.

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