Over Labor Day Weekend, I found myself waiting for a train at Newark Airport. I arrived about 15 minutes late for the train I wanted to catch, the 9:30. I grumbled to myself with a complaint about having to wait. Before that thought could finish echoing through my tired mind another thought arose. “45 minutes? A perfect time to meditate” I sat down in the then empty train station and began to practice in the industrial quiet.
Soon, the air was filled with the arising and fading away of sound. I heard Asian languages, Slavic languages, English with a Spanish accent and the baritone booming voice of the station master calling in trains and announcing delays.
Perhaps my train would be delayed too? No matter, I’m enjoying my practice.
This is the beauty of mindfulness meditation practice. It is both portable and durable. We can do it wherever we are in whatever conditions we find ourselves. I felt refreshed and renewed after practice. My travel-weary body transitioning into the next moment (and challenge) with ease.
Challenges always arise during family visits for reasons Buddhists and psychoanalysts alike can appreciate. Lot’s of old conditionings to confront.
But that’s not the point of this entry. Instead, I wanted to talk about the beauty of persistence. At my parents home in New Jersey, my mother has planted impatiens in planters around the front entry way. Impatiens are an annual variety, needing to be replanted each season.
These precocious impatiens had reseeded themselves and were making an initial foray towards being an invasive species. Some had sprouted in a crack on the asphalt driveway, a testament to the will to life. In a sense these flowers, too, demonstrated portability and durability as they seeded themselves all around and in unlikely places.
These impatiens are a metaphor for the juxtaposition of the sacred and mundane, beauty and starkness, natural and artificial.
I hope your labor day contained moments of mindfulness and surprising beauty. These are always available when we give ourselves permission to look!
With blessings and gratitude,