Be in the Driver's Seat of Your Life: Gain Freedom through Wisdom

By Elizabeth Herman | Posted:  February 03, 2020

As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in a recent talk about the nature of the human mind, “This is what we need to do. We need to keep moving. We park somewhere and we move again. So if we park in the wrong place we need to move it sooner. If we park in the right place we have more freedom. We can move it only when we want to.” 

The following video extends his metaphor of the mind as a vehicle to be cared for and driven by us, not as something we allow to be in control:

Losing freedom

Gurudev continues, “So we have to park our mind also in such a way that it’s in a safe place. If we’ve parked our mind in our own garage, nobody can tell us when we should move it. But if you park your mind in somebody else’s garage, somebody will be after you. Even then, if you don’t move, the police will come. 

In the same way, we don’t put our lives’ authority into somebody else’s hands. If we did, we would have no freedom. When you lose freedom, the next thing you lose is love and compassion.” Just like we protect our car, we have to protect the vehicle of our mind. 

“Someone who is stifled can’t express their compassion and love, isn’t this so?” he asks. In other words, it’s important to protect the mind and make sure it’s safe enough to feel free to be loving and compassionate. Without self-control, the mind can only feel caged in and oppressed, so some method for establishing safety and freedom is necessary for love and happiness.

Wisdom can help you drive 

“So take care of your own mind, the car called mind which drives you. You should drive the mind rather than the mind driving you. Correct?” he asks. 

“What does wisdom do? Wisdom empowers you to drive the mind the way you want to drive it. Otherwise, you are not in the driver’s seat. The mind is driving and it’s an automatic car. It goes on its own. You’re sitting, wondering. You say, ‘I want to go to the left and the car is going to the right.’ You feel helpless.”

Spirituality is taking a leap

“Most of our life is like this,” says Gurudev. “We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know what we want. We don’t know where we’re going. It’s simply the car that’s going and we’re sitting. In the background, we say, ‘I want to go left! I want to go left!’ But it’s the car that’s going right. Isn’t this happening?

How many of you feel that you’re in control, or you’re in the driver’s seat, of your own life? No, we’re being driven by something else. Right? So we need to take a look at how we can jump in and sit in the driver’s seat. From sitting behind, how can I make that leap, and that’s what spirituality is.”

If you feel that your life is out of control sometimes, the right dose of wisdom and spirituality can bring you back to the driver’s seat of your mind. Imbibing talks like Gurudev’s and doing practices like yoga, breathing, and meditation can help you make a leap into freedom, self-control, and ultimately love and happiness. 

To learn more about being the driver of your life and taking care of the vehicle that is your mind, find a Happiness Program, Sahaj Samadhi meditation course, or Sri Sri Yoga course near you.

Elizabeth Herman writes, offers writing support to clients, teaches, and volunteers for a better world. She has a PhD in Rhetoric, Composition and Literature. Find her on Facebook or Twitter.

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