In Search of Public Zen
Believe in it or not, you can't help sensing that practicing meditation is starting to become increasingly accepted. Once the domain of the spiritually inclined, I'm seeing and hearing more and more evidence of people embracing it as a regular part of their health and wellness routine. Which is a very good thing. I've been at it for years. Not seriously, but enough to understand and genuinely enjoy the benefits, as well as advocate it to my friends. In fact to re-purpose one of my favorite quotes by Blaise Pascale: "the sum of all the world's evil would be greatly reduced if men could only learn to sit in their rooms and meditate".
But here's the thing. Outside of the sanctuary of our homes, or the odd early morning in a park or at a beach, we don't live in a society that supports a practice that requires a quiet, calm and private space. Regardless of how fabulous it is for us.
Case in point, I'm half way through a hectic and reasonably annoying day. I would love to take 30 mins to zen out a little and get some perspective back. My office is too public. The toilet would be weird. Car too hot. The meeting rooms can't guarantee undisturbed time, and sitting in Starbucks with headphones and my eyes closed, isn't yet, socially acceptable.
So here's the thought; maybe it's time for Meditation spaces to be added to the other traditional public amenities such as Prayer Rooms and Toilets. Better still, make a business out of it. 10 bucks for 30 mins quiet time in a purpose built, private space? Sign me up! And maybe it will encourage more people to truly disconnect from their i-life for a while, and reconnect with themselves.