Saturday, March 03, 2012

Meditation Flash Mob

I learned about a flash mob that was happening at the British Museum. It was for a group meditation. I thought it would be interesting to take part in a flash mob so I headed over. Even after a year in London I arrived late because I mis-judged how long it would take to travel by tube. I walked around the outskirts of the group and found an empty spot to sit.
The first part was to be silent meditation with the second chanting. I sat quietly trying to clear my mind of being late and concentrate on meditating. Of course since I was on the outskirts I was prime fodder for being photographed by the media that was there. It is a little hard to concentrate on anything with a constant shutter clicking from a camera inches from my head. Sure enough I later saw a picture of me on one of the news websites.
At 6:30 at the center of the circle the second part started I heard the low chanting. The volume of each “ohm” slowly rose with every exhale and I could hear it creeping closer and closer to me as people joined in. Finally it reached me, then flowed around and surrounded me the other late comers joined in. It sounded as a complete surround stereo but no one person was chanting loud enough to stick out so it was not distinguishable to be coming any certain point. The thing is though is that no one breaths at the same pace. So instead of the volume rising and falling with each breath it slowly became waves of sound as ohms bobbed up and down around me. Listening to the waves as they crashed into each other was an interesting thing to listen to; amplifying in volume as people joined rhythm for a short time.
Then with the ring of a chime everyone went silent again at 6:45. With a few relaxing breaths people started to get up. It was surprising how refreshing the whole experience was. Of course I did the exact opposite of meditating since I was paying attention to the everything going on around me instead of focusing on the meditating like I was trying to. But the feeling of being part of the larger group helped me to understand why there are so many people that do meditate with others.

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