A Time to Think

Various hypotheses have come forth to explain why we have adisproportionate number of ideas and epiphanies in the shower.Explanations as varied as guessing that it’s due to thearomatherapy of shampoos, or the brain soothing effect of warmwater on our scalp.

I have a simpler explanation: It’s one of the very few timeswhen we actually disengage from the world andthink. Lathering and rinsing tends to be avery automatic activity, and given that we don’t have the option ofreading the paper or browsing websites, we’re forced to conversewith, and be entertained by, our own mind.

A similar result can be experience on your daily commute (thisonly really works if you drive by yourself, presuming that thetraffic isn’t infuriating and distracting. I’ve found commutertrains, buses and carpooling to have no such meditative effect, andinstead to be highly detrimental to thought): Turn off theradio and just relax on the drive.

It is astounding how many decisions and ideas are resolved on a30 minute commute in this island of tranquility. It is the activityclosest to meditation in my daily schedule.