Thursday, August 09, 2007

Where Did They Come From?

I’m still trying to figure out how we ended up with an overflow crowd at meditation last night. I can’t even remember the last time seven people showed up, but I do remember bass-player Bill one time commenting that it felt good to have seven in that space.

August is a slow month in general in DC. People go on vacation. People don’t like to move once they get home. We had actually talked about cancelling meditation for the month of August, fearing there might be nights where only one person would show up to sit.

When I arrived last night, there was a petite young woman named Chris sitting on the steps of Healing Arts. “Are you still having meditation?” she asked me. I assured her that we were as I welcomed her inside to escape the 95+ degree heat outside. She said her partner would be joining her after he made his way from Union Station. Well, we were up to 3.

Then an old-faithful Sharon arrived with Ellie, who hadn’t come to meditation for almost 2 years since the birth of her son. I can remember thinking she was going into labor one night when she was close to her delivery date. That would make 5.

Mary, who always arrives just in the nick of time, did so once again, bringing in with her Karen, who apparently had helped found the group almost 10 years ago. That would make 7.

We then figured out how to divide up the 6 cushions among 7 people, leaving one person using a meditation bench without a cushion.

As we checked in before the sit, I simply expressed my disbelief that 7 people had shown up on the hottest day of the year in a city where everyone was on vacation. It was warm but not hot in the meditation space, as the candle burned and the overhead fan moved the air. It was surprisingly quiet outside, probably because children and dogs were too hot to move.

As I reviewed the order of the evening, I noticed that no one winced at the idea of sitting for 35 minutes. This was a seasoned group of meditators. I invited the bell three times and we started our sit.

We drank in that quiet and stillness, searching for our breath and basking in the presence of so many. The time seemed to fly by, but not before I had my ususal visit with my parents, who now seem to have met Florence. Wednesday nights have become my time for looking across to the other world.

The reading from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Wherever You Go There You Are” was “What is my Job on the Planet with a Capital J?” It was a good reading for everyone, but especially for one of the 7 who is currently between jobs and wondering what the future holds.

Promptly at 8:30 I invited the bell once again and we ended our peaceful time together. I always wonder as people leave if I will see their faces again the next week. It’s highly unlikely that we will have 7 people in the near future, but it was a good reminder that anything can happen, even on the hottest day of the year in a city that is on vacation.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

Yesterday felt odd to me; maybe it wasn't just me. Seven does seem like a good number for anything.

1:45 PM  
Blogger riseoutofme said...

Its the heat. Does funny things to your head. Need to get in there and check everything's o,k.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Sometimes unexpected surprises like this are nice. With any group, new blood is always envigorating!

Rise -- Everything was quite OK, despite the heat!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Well, it would seem that meditating is teh thing they do when there is nothing else to do.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

Yeah, it's supposed to slow down at work this time of year so I can catch up on all the stuff that doesn't have to get done right now. Maybe I should be the one slowing down? Maybe some meditation?

6:44 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- I would hope it's not a last resort!

Ulysses -- You should join us sometime. I think you would enjoy the quiet time after being as busy as you are multi-tasking clients and yourself. I can't imagine any slow time in your business. It would seem people are always getting injured.

9:00 AM  

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