Posts Tagged 'abc home'

Silently starting a conversation – Reflections on 24 hours of Public Meditation

Photo by Frances Yang Martin

My fellow meditators in the windows of ABC Home

When I signed up to be part of the Interdependence Project’s meditation marathon, to sit for 24 hours in the windows of the most sheeshy home furnishing store in New York City as part of a fundraiser for the organization, I knew it would be intense.  I just didn’t know what the nature of that intensity would be.  I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about or preparing for the sit, as I didn’t have much context for this kind of experience to base any preparation on.  I mostly considered that I’d be sitting for 24 hours (with of course walking meditation mixed in), and the only context I had for such an extended period of meditation was meditation retreats, usually about a week long, that I’ve been going on for some time now.  Those retreats are, naturally, very intense from an internal standpoint.  Generally retreatants, or yogis as they’re often called, are in idyllic surroundings with delicious food and lots of silence, but are so intimately engaged in focused meditation that they tend to experience euphoric highs but also debilitating lows, with plenty of peacefulness and straightup boredom mixed in.  And so when I was thinking about what to prepare for when sitting 24 hours, I largely thought of it in these terms, as a subjective experience.

What I basically forgot about was that I’d be sitting in an *extremely* public space, a street level storefront window that’s meant to highlight things to otherwise uninterested passers by.  And wow, were the passers by  interested.  I guess it isn’t everyday that you see about a dozen people meditating in window, but wow.  The fact that our 24 hours included a Friday night in a pretty busy part of New York City probably helped in terms of the amount of attention we got.  Here are some of the general sentiments I heard, paraphrased:

“Are they for real?”

“Are they real?”

“Wow, those people are incredible. That’s discipline!”

“I wish I could do that.”

“I used to meditate, I should really start again.”

“What a waste of time.”

“Get a life!”

“How much do you cost?! I want to take you home!” (Note: not a paraphrase.)

Continue reading ‘Silently starting a conversation – Reflections on 24 hours of Public Meditation’

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If you're reading this, then you've reached the web log of Rafi Santo. This is my little slice of the internet where I can share my passion (or whatever) with the world.

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