Here we are...

Just off the Port Bow—a place of uncertainty, adventure, and insight. Thank you for your ears, eyes and hearts. I hope to bring compassion, grace and beauty to your day.

"You just meditated with 2,470 people"

Every time I use the Insight Timer app to help me with my daily meditation I receive a similar accounting. The app shows me the symbol of every one of these 2,470 folk. If I click on their image I have the option of sending them a quick "Thanks for meditating with me" message. I have made it a practice to send messages to the first two people listed (it's a random list), and today it was someone in Vermont and someone in Israel. I have received messages from folk in Chile, Germany, Vermont, Rhode Island, Florida and Ireland in the past week. At this precise moment there are 1312 people around the globe using this meditation app.

This sort of connection is not a complete novelty in my world. In earlier days my family began its daily drinking with the observation that the "sun was over the yardarm" somewhere in the world. In church I remember feeling spiritually enervated by the knowledge that folk in the furthest corners of Christendom were having communion or praying just as I was doing the same. I wonder, even now, how many folk there are, seated before their iPads, a simple keyboard on their laps, typing away on a blog post. I'm not the only one, you know.

There are all sorts of conclusions I might draw based on this universal awareness. Comfort. Concern (no man is an island, and I just might want to be). Connection. Conspicuousness.

Today, though, I would focus simply on presence. The writer to the Hebrews tells the faithful that they are forever surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses". In the meditation world this "cloud of witnesses" is referred to as the Sangha, the community of fellow practitioners. My natural inclination, in these daily periods of quiet and focus, is to consider myself quite withdrawn and isolated. I am "taking care of myself" through meditation—a holy presence of mindfulness.

Presence, today at least, has taken on an added dimension. I am being mindful in concert with others. Everyone of the 2,470 (a permutation of The Three Hundred, I suppose) is a fellow human being whose particular suffering has led them to this particular form of relief, reflection, and redemption—beyond the Gates of Hell.

It feels a bit awkward to know specifically what sort of meditation they are each doing, but the app does give one that bit of information—right now, a bunch are just doing silent meditation, one is doing "Morning Meditation", one "Breath Meditation" one "Shamanic drum voyage with background"(?), one "Nothing here but you" and one, "Gateway to Presence". We're not all in the same place. We aren't struggling with the same specific things. We don't speak the same language. Yet, every one of these 2,470 has this same app running on their phone or tablet. Every one has decided, for whatever reason, that their life will be richer, healthier, more peaceful, less stressful, or something, by taking one minute or one hour to meditate.

This presence, this morning, has encouraged me.

Thursday Images

Deerfield Doors I