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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  Car Crashes, Meditation, & Grace Under Pressure
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Tuesday, January 3,2012

Car Crashes, Meditation, & Grace Under Pressure

By Cary Bayer  
I know, you’re thinking to yourself— what does Cary have in mind now, linking meditation with car crashes. If you’re in a crash, and you’ve had the presence of mind to call the police, call your insurance company, and exchange licenses and insurance cards with the other motorist, you’ll find yourself waiting for the police to arrive. Meditating in your car until they get there can release some of the trauma that your body has just been through, and can keep your mind clear for all the questions that you’ll soon need to answer.

The average driver who is minding his own business and is then rear-ended by a motorist who isn’t paying proper attention can easily be consumed with anger. But no amount of anger can possibly change such circumstances; a good amount of meditation, however, can change how you react to those circumstances. Meditation can also help you tap spontaneously into the Zone, that delightful “grace under pressure” presence of mind that effortlessly enables you to do precisely what you need to do under difficult conditions. This might include making sure that you and everyone else affected by the accident is okay physically and emotionally, and to make the proper phone calls and information exchanges. Anger might provide an understandable release; compassion and grace under pressure, however, provide you with understanding.

I was cruising down I-95 recently, in southern Maryland, after giving a prosperity class at a Unity church near Annapolis. I was driving to, of all places, a meditation lecture that I was about to give in northern Virginia. My GPS informed me that I would arrive about an hour and a half early—time, in fact, to meditate and have a bite to eat. My plans were working perfectly. Funny thing about the best-laid plans of mice and men—they don’t always work. I have a sign on my desk that reads, “Want to make God laugh? Talk about your plans.” My GPS, even with its heavens-eye view, couldn’t take into account what was just moments away in my future.

Traffic was moderately heavy on I-95 and, all of a sudden, the traffic pattern had necessitated a full stop on the highway. I saw the car in front of me suddenly break, so I did the same. The motorist behind me, unfortunately, didn’t— or didn’t in time--and he crashed into me at a pretty high speed. I suffered injuries to my back, neck, shoulder, and arm, and my beloved new Prius was taken to the auto hospital for a month of intensive care that totaled more than $8,300.

With the delay caused by the accident, the towing of my car, the rental of a new car, etc. there was now no way that I could get to the venue on time. Unless, of course, I was Superman and could fly there—but Superman is more of an archetype of our inner potential than he is a demonstration of what we can physically do. (If this idea intrigues you, catch my classes— “Christ, Superman, & You,” “Zen Teachings of Superheroes,” or my two mini-books on superheroes at

I called the producer and she, in turn, called the people registered for the talk; half of them were able to make it when I’d be able to—about an hour and a half late. And so I gave a talk on the Higher Self Healing Meditation that I founded in 2010 after teaching Transcendental Meditation to hundreds of people for three decades. And I told them that grace under pressure is a sign of a high state of consciousness, and your higher Self awakens through the regular practice of the meditation that I was describing. Half of the people who came signed up to learn and they are now cruising along on the highway of their evolution. It looks like smooth sailing for them, but, if they’re suddenly rear-ended or blind-sided by cars or other events, they now have a tool that will keep their nervous systems fresh as a daisy. And that will allow each of them to act like their teacher before them; namely, with grace under pressure, with their higher Selves waking up in crisis, rather than their lower selves reacting in anger.


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