Riding the Subway: A Moving Meditation

Posted by: on Dec 11, 2013 | 5 Comments
Riding the Subway: A Moving Meditation
image from @jeffreynyc

Living in New York City, we must find our moments of reflection where and when we can.

Our days are cacophonous— even in our own little hands there is undoubtedly a device of some sort, beeping and ringing– demanding our attention, commanding our actions.

How many times have we heard our friends say, “But I don’t have time to meditate!”?  How many times have we said it ourselves?

Why do we think of meditation as an activity that lives in a special place and time rather than something as every day as brushing our teeth? Meditation does not require a beach in Costa Rica, a mountain top in the Himalayas, candles or a soundtrack of forest sounds.

It requires only the moment—and the desire to know THAT moment.

To revel in our days’ journeys as opposed to trying to escape them to find time to meditate. It’s our chance to find stillness in motion—silence in sound—solitude in a crowd.

Here is my meditation on the R train this morning. These are the voices that guided my meditation on the ride from Herald Square to Rector Street:

image from @lizzard_nyc

image from @lizzard_nyc

“Don’t sit there.  It’s wet.”

“I don’t mean to bother nobody but I am homeless and it’s raining so can I have a dollar for an umbrella?”

“Why don’t he just ask for a damn HOUSE?”

“Why are you wearing those shoes? Its’ pouring out!”

“Because I have a dinner date, and I didn’t want to carry like my whole wardrobe around all day, okay?”

“I’m listening to my iPod now, so stop talking.”

“Wait? Was that 14th street?  Oh shit!  Did i miss my stop? Was that 14th street? Where are we?Was that 14th street?”

“Someone tell that guy to shut up.”

“Don’t talk so loud, Ray. A woman got shot for yelling at someone”.

“That was in the Dinkens years. After 9/11, no one is shooting anyone in the subways anymore.”

“Okay.  So this is prince street. SoHo. So don’t act like you’re from wisconsin, K? ”

“Get up  or the doors will close on you!!”.

“Did you drop this key?”

“Thank you..yes..oh thank you!”

” Don’t sit there, it’s wet”.

Sometimes, if you tune in to what’s out there – what’s actually occurring right now in this moment –  you’ll find a little corner of peace even if you’re in a crowded and noisy environment.

Most importantly, you may just find you actually do have time to meditate. And the perfect place for a meditation practice—right here. Right now.

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  1. delta668 .
    November 11, 2013

    Delightful! Thank you.

  2. maryb
    November 12, 2013

    Great post, Gailanne! And so true! Thank you!

  3. katt
    November 13, 2013

    so true! love the idea of creating internal space and peace anywhere, anytime…

  4. Zelda
    November 13, 2013

    I used to think meditation meant clearing my mind of sounds and thoughts. I love this idea that simply, peacefully, being aware of the thoughts, or the life-sounds around us, is the way to go. Just noticing them and letting them be is so much more satisfying, and grounding, than trying to flush or shut them out!! Thanks for reminding us of that.

  5. linda basich
    November 13, 2013

    it is not always about finding a quiet space..where is that these days anyway? make your own time. Thanks for reminding us of this!