Between the 2:15-2:30 p.m. class break, Red Square is usually a flurry of coffee cups, flyers, and quick chats about upcoming midterms or quizzes. But this past week, members of the Buddhist Meditation Sangha (BuMS) decided to flash meditate in the center of this chaos.
For me, meditating in such a busy place was rewarding for a few reasons. I rarely take the time to reflect on my day in between classes. When one class lets out, I jump straight to thinking about the next item on my “to-do” list. This past week however, taught me how valuable this 15-minute window is, as I was able to re-center myself during this short time. I can use each step or breath that I take during those 15-minutes to really help ground myself. The bustle of Red Square almost symbolized the bustle of constant thoughts we all encounter throughout a day. Intentionally taking time out to quietly reflect in such a high traffic zone showed me that I am capable of calming my own thoughts at anytime and under any circumstances, not just during our community’s meditations on Monday & Thursday evenings at 8:00 p.m. in McSherry.
The most challenging part of this meditation experience for me was concentrating on the moment, rather than looking up to see the reaction from people passing by. I had to remind myself that meditation is about the inner experience and not the outer; if people were curious at what we were doing, it shouldn’t influence or distract my thoughts. I hope to do this more often, since my ability to meditate will only improve with practice. Be on the watch, as you never know where the next BuMS flash-mob will occur!
Erin Leonard, SFS ’16