Clarice Bryan is a Western Buddhist who likes driving her car and is convinced that doing so as a practice can lead to Nirvana. Of course, there are many obstacles to this goal and most of them lie within us. First is our propensity to divide the world into "us" and "them":
"Most of us suffer from the sensation that we are separate and self-contained, confronting the external world of people and things without any awareness that we are all results of the energy and development of our planet and universe. Most of us believe we are isolated in our own space bubbles where we can keep the world out as something separate and unpredictable. We tend to feel hostility and uncertainty toward everything outside our own skin. But beyond our skin is the stuff of the same origin as the stuff inside our skin."
Almost every signal in our culture pushes us toward not trusting others and looking upon them as enemies and competitors. Hence, we are wary of others in their cars and always on the alert for the danger that they may bring to us.
Bryan writes about a different perspective that comes from the Buddhist ideal of interdependence:
"Power and independence are an illusion. Better if we all participate harmoniously together in our life on the road, where we are all on the same team. We can use our capabilities in interaction and cooperation because we are interconnected, merging and separating at various angles, but still flowing down the same moving stream."
She decides to cooperate with others on the road instead of competing with them: letting fast drivers pass her, being patient with individuals in motor homes, and making others feel comfortable with her presence on the road. We especially enjoyed her observations on driving in the snow, dealing with road rage, and coping with accidents. Best of all is a passage in which she describes her experiences of achieving Nirvana while driving (see the excerpt).
Bryan takes the Buddhist teachings on being present, kindness, and attention and brings them to life in this edifying paperback about the spiritual practice of driving.