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Erric Solomon

Really Meditating at Occupy WallStreet

I went back to Occupy WallStreet yesterday in order to hook up with the meditators. This time I was successful.

 

At ten o’clock I called S_In _the_City to see if she wanted to join me in the noontime Meditation Flash Mob at the Zuccotti Park, the site of the demonstration. She grumbled something about it being too early to decently call someone on a Saturday but she sleepily made plans to meet me at 11:30.

As it turns out 90 minutes wasn’t quite enough time for her to get up, get dressed, caffeinate her brain, eat and shower, the shower being the difference. So I went ahead solo.

There were at least 100 meditators who managed to squeeze together. The ritual here is to start with chanting a few elongated oms followed by silent sitting which lasted close to an hour. I took a few mindful breaks to make some videos with my iphone, the camera of choice at the protest site.

I didn’t see too many Tibetan style practitioners, if you can judge by the eyes open vs. eyes closed measuring stick. It was mostly an eyes closed crowd. The guy next to me was almost for sure a zen dude, had that classic posture, couldn’t see his eyes though. In general, the crowd was mostly late 20s but, as is true about this protest generally,  there were people from every age and ethnic background.

One of those double decker tour busses, the kind with the open top, rolled buy. Everyone on the bus started cheering and waving at the protesters. It’s interesting to see how stable one’s practice is when there is so much commotion and noise going on. It probably helps that there were so many of us all meditating together.

Here is Anthony Whitehurst one of the organizers. He talks about what is happening and how he sees meditation fitting in with protest. I was getting pushed around a lot from the back , we both had to do a bit of bobbing and weaving…

 

A video  of the meditation,  S_In_The_City did show up about 15 minutes in. If you know who she is, you might spot her. At the end of the sitting some of the meditators shared a “sound bath.”

 

I went to the meditation organizing group, mostly made up of really sincere meditators, mostly in their 20s.  They believe that through the power of group meditation practice and wholesome motivation, the protest can remain grounded in non-violence and that all people will just generally be able to experience the inter-connectedness we have  with each other. Anthony is a pretty good organizer, especially because he is organizing a group that isn’t all that into being led.

If you can, you should join in, info is here.