I went to a "meditation flash mob" this evening in Union Square. After my 45 minute ride on the L train, I came up into a Friday night in Manhattan with Hare Krishnas playing their finger cymbals and a funky beat from some other street celebrants. The moment I sat down on the ground with two hundred or so other meditators in front of the statue of George Washington on his horse I felt....sublime. So so soft.
Then most of the crowd did a silent walking meditation up Broadway. I have never walked so slowly in NYC in my life--what would be considered a normal, if relaxed, pace for most of the country. It was that magic Maxfield Parrish time of day, the high west sides of buildings sunset orange. We walked into ABC Home, a huge fancy shmancy home decor + clothing store with a gallery type space upstairs where Thich Nhat Hanh's calligraphy was being displayed and sold. Somebody had a good time designing this exhibit. A Buddhist nun sat in the middle of the floor leading everyone in a beautiful Betsy Rose song. She taught it to us seamlessly, a section at a time in between anecdotes about people learning to breathe into their anger. If Martha Stewart and Mister Rogers got to design heaven, it might be like this. Breathing in, I smile. Breathing out, I admire $495 linen dresses without attachment. Happiness flowered in me from music, from human goodness, and from art.
Everyone on the L train looked so beautiful, all the way back to Canarsie.