Yesterday I read a blog post titled: Commuting Tips From A Buddhist. I was very excited to read this post, and also very excited to mock it. I am not the best commuter. I refrain from openly shoving and cursing at my fellow New Yorkers, but if anyone could read my mind I probably would have been killed mid-commute years ago. Even with all of my peace-loving, yoga and meditation practicing ideals in place I am not a great commuter. I highly suggest you read the full posting here: http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/09/03/commuting-tips-from-a-buddhist/. I will only be rephrasing the situations and supplying my non-Buddhist responses on this blog. I am allowing you a glimpse into a part of me I am not super proud of. My responses are not kind or wholly appropriate. I am fully aware of this and that is why I, like everyone else reading this blog, am a work in progress. Commuting does not bring out the best in me, especially early in the morning when I am tired, running late, and only have half my morning caffeine allotment sloshing around in my breakfastless stomach.
Situation # 1: Someone is standing way too close.
Response: I always carry a large handbag (think Mary Poppins). I find it helpful to discretely position it so that it is pushing into said person. I also find thinking really mean thoughts is useless, but it does distract me.
Situation # 2: Young person pushes through everyone to grab the last seat even though there is an elderly person, someone with a small child, or someone with a brace on a leg indicating some injury.
Response: Initially muttering, “Really?” then sending really nasty glares throughout the commute is, well, totally ineffectual, but what I usually do.
Situation # 3: The train is running slow and I am about to be late for yoga class.
Response: Getting increasingly frustrated and anxious while writing a nasty letter to the MTA in my head is my default reaction. Taking what yoga teaches me off of my mat and into my daily commute is great and all, but if I can’t actually get to my daily yoga class how the fuck am I supposed to do that?
Thankfully, most of my commuting is no longer during rush hour so I get to sit down and read books on Buddhist philosophy and contemplate how to put those philosophies into action in every area of my life, except commuting on over-crowded, delayed, or re-routed subways.