Marches and Meditation

Each of us has our own reality, our own way to be.

Just tonight, my friend and I drove to the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA, for the 4th and final meditation class.

downloadPurposefully, we didn’t read nor listen to the news this evening, agreeing to learn the verdict and follow the story on our drive back home. For a few hours before class, we delighted in shopping in local stores and walking the streets in one of those neighborhoods chalk full of independent stores. In one shop we considered purchasing a meditation pillow, touched most every soft item of clothing in another shop, found the perfect reflective bands to wear on our morning jogs, and gave in to our senses over the most other-worldly bowls of ramen ever imagined. Everything seemed so normal on the street, in the shops, along the sidewalks.

Driving to the meditation center, it became evident that entirety of the city was actually preparing itself for a long night. Oakland knows how to prepare for these nights. Everyone knows their role in this public theater. Police vehicles, police on bikes, roads blocked off, helicopters. Areas for people to gather were being tightly controlled. We parked and walked directly to class. Half of out classmates remained in their own homes to assure their physical safety. Sounds of sirens, helicopters, and nervousness made for challenging meditations. No complaints. Just need to recognize that the needs of many are met in many different ways. As our two hours concluded, minds calmed, we were reminded of steps to take to make the change for a meditation practice in our own lives, suggested next steps on our road of discovery. It was in this quiet spirit as we put away our chairs and cushions that staff at the center informed us that a peaceful protest had moved to the freeway and helped us plan our route home via surface streets. Care for our well being was being tended while we learned, practiced. Turns out that during our meditation, the neighborhood had been surrounded by protest over the Ferguson grand jury decision and had moved from the streets to the highway. Peaceful protest on the highway. Peaceful and making voices heard. On the highway.

Marches and meditation, each of us doing everything in our power to make this world a better place.

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Note: this post was updated the morning after publishing to include deeper insights gleamed upon reflection.

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