Posts Tagged 'fundraiser'

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’

Support me to Sit Down, Rise Up

Open 24 HoursOver the course of November 6th and 7th, I’ll be taking part in Sit Down, Rise Up, a 24 hour meditation marathon and fundraiser for the Interdependence Project, an organization dedicated to exploring the intersections between community life, meditation, arts and activism.  As some of you might know, I direct the IDP’s Integral Activism work, and I’m asking anyone reading to sponsor me as I meditate for a full twenty four hours as part of the Fall fundraiser. (No Joke!)  I’ll be joined in this full 24 hour marathon by Ethan Nichtern, IDP’s founder and director, along with Jessica Rasp, one of IDP’s meditation teachers, as well as by many members of our community that are committing to meditating with us for four hours blocks over the course of the day as we sit in the windows of ABC Home, who have generously offered their space for the event.

I’m aiming to raise $1,000 to support this budding community, whose members are dedicated to examining their own lives and their engagement with the world through the lens of interdependence, one that implicitly acknowledges the connection that we all have to one another.  It’s in this spirit that I ask you to support me.  Conscious and active grassroots communities are able to thrive with the help of people that believe in their value, and if you do, please support me as much as you’re able.

If you’d like to sponsor me for one of my 24 hours of sitting, you can give $42, which would be awesome, as then I’d need only 23 more people to do the same!  Alternatively, I invite you to give what you want and how you want.  More is great.  Less is great.  All is appreciated.  I thank you all in advance for your support.  If you have any questions about the organization, the work that I’m involved in, and how we’ll be aiming to utilize the funds raised, don’t hesitate to be in touch (Rafi at empathetics dot org), or check out the event details over at the ID Project’s web site.

Hi there.

Rafi in thailand, smiling

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.

Research. Meditation. Learning theory. Spirituality. Activism. Cooking. New Media. Pedagogy. Photography. It's all fair game, and will likely coalesce into some unholy mixture thereof. But hey, that's the integral life.