Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bus Meditation

I have reinvigorated my bus meditation practice lately, mostly out of a desperate need for less reactiveness at work. However, I have quickly rediscovered why this form of sitting feels like a seamless part of my overall zen practice. Sitting upright, with my hands in the cosmic mudra, feet flat on the bus floor, eyes three quarters closed, taking in everything. Sound familiar? You never know what's going to enter the bus, just as, really, you never know what's going to enter your life. This morning, a crying baby, loud music, chatty bus driver, and even a few minutes of silence all entered into my meditation. Like the upset I was feeling about my job, and other parts of my life, I had the opportunity to let it all come and go again and again. There's something about meditating while going somewhere, too, that I find interesting. It's different from being stationary on the cushion, but not lesser than, in my opinion. It's kind of like life is sped up a little bit, and things look different and feel different when you finish your meditation on the bus, if only because your actual location has changed. Another thing I find fascinating about bus meditation is that it's an opportunity to let go of how people might perceive you. What's that guy doing? Why is he sitting so straight like that? Etc. All that stuff comes and goes through my mind as well, even though I'm well aware most people coming on don't notice or care what I'm doing. Which is yet another reason why I love bus meditation: I can extend my practice into a part of my everyday experience without any disruption whatsoever. Sometimes, I think it's good to disrupt your life a bit for practice, but when you don't have to, that's good too!

* On the ride home from work this afternoon, we were treated to a round of hail. As the chunks thumped the roof and side of the bus, a few of the passengers got on their cell phones and gave blow by blow descriptions of the experience. I started laughing as their voices became so animated, almost as if they had never seen hail before - which I'm pretty sure wasn't the case. And then, at one point, the bus turned a corner, and there was nothing, not a single drop of rain nor hail to be found. And then just as quickly as we drove out of it, we drove back into more - pouring rain, hail, the whole works. "Isn't this just like our lives?", I thought, as the bus rolled into my stop.


ZenDotStudio said...

Lots of good meaty Dharma here, even for vegetarians! Love the hail analogy. That's how it is, isn't it, one minute a hail storm, next minute blue sky. The miracle of this human existence!

Jennifer Campaniolo said...

I'm going to try this when I ride the "T" this afternoon. I have a longer ride than usual, and I'm hoping it will make the experience more pleasant (I hate taking public transportation.)

Thanks for the idea!