Is it weird that I like to meditate in department stores? Is it odd that amidst the starkly lit, nature-free landscape of glass, concrete and consumerism, I find peace and centre?
Don’t get me wrong, I really like to get my med on outside in the bush, or in my quiet space at home or in incense-filled sacred spaces. It’s just that I’m a meditation junkie and that i dose up on the present moment wherever I can get it.
This week, as I found myself accompanying my lady-friend on a mission to Penrith Westfield to buy a pair of leggings, I made a decision that I was really on a date to meditate.
I acquired the idea from something Eckhart Tolle said on one of his spoken word audio CDs (stillness speaks or practicing presence – I can’t remember which). He said something like, whenever you find yourself awaiting someone, rather than waiting you can just connect to yourself and enjoy being you. That way, when whoever you had been waiting for eventually appears and asks, “Have you been waiting long?” you can say, “no. I haven’t been waiting at all. I’ve been standing here enjoying myself.”
Every time I found myself in a different shop sitting outside of the fitting rooms on the aptly named, ‘man chair’, I sat down, shut up and breathed. I simply connected to my inner spaciousness. I felt into my body and observed its pulsing rhythms, its subtle aliveness. I resided in awareness and simply enjoyed being myself.
(Happily, my lady-friend provided me ample chance to get my meditation on because apparently, there’s such a thing as the perfect set of leggings and it seems they’re really hard to find. We must have gone into half a dozen stores and lady-friend must have tried on a menagerie of the not-quite-lingerie before she finally found her holy grail of knee hugging, leg warming cotton-elastin material)
Eckhart Tolle said something else on that CD that was really profound in my opinion. He said “to be enjoying yourself really means to be in joy in your self”.
That in my opinion covers my relationship with meditation and also the reason I do a lot of it. I would like to be in joy in my self! What can waiting, buying, consuming, offer me when I know how to be in joy in myself, simply by breathing and being, by holding my attention on an intention and observing the present moment with kindness and curiosity?
I’ve spent I’ve spent a lot of time this year connecting to nature- walking among trees, tending gardens, visiting the ocean, immersing myself in the natural rhythms of our planet and also connecting to my very own sad, joyful, dark, light, human and divine nature. Walking through Penrith Westfield was like visiting an alien landscape to me. Experiencing it with fresh eyes, ears, heart, body and mind, I heard something I’d never heard before. I noticed a charming song of material happiness floating through the air. It was subtle and seductive, gentle yet insistent and also the more I listened, I realised how poisonous it was.
“Welcome human to my world of thing -pretty, sexy, amazing and fascinating things. These things will make you better, fitter, smarter, stronger, more beautiful, and more popular. You want them, don’t you? You need them, don’t you? It’s ok. Everyone does. Actually, it’s weird not to and you don’t want to be weird, do you?
Welcome human. Now buy. Buy. Buy!”
Did I succumb to the siren’s song? Of course, I did.
Between meditations, I paid $1.66 for two packs of discounted razor blades.
Thank you Penrith Westfield.