Twenty years ago, meditation was an occult activity. It was something done only in private, away from the public. Even going out to the forest to meditate brought with it a feeling of self-consciousness, of concern for being seen. We would hide behind trees and sunglasses, sometimes going so far as to put a book on our lap just in case someone walked by.
Today, we live in a world where meditation is main stream. While meditation is still an occult activity in that we move into hidden realms of light and power, we can now sit in public without fear of criticism or retribution.
We celebrated this freedom during the past weekend at the Grand Canyon on a trip organized by the Rama Meditation Society. On Saturday, we found a somewhat private outcrop overlooking the majesty of the Canyon and our group of 21 scattered among the trees and brush to sit. Lisa, our fearless guide, kept watch and guided the tourists away from our group so we could meditate in peace.
The next day, the trail we took was more populated, however this did not put a damper on our activities. We found a perfect sized alcove, just big enough for our group to stand and sit, with the intention to chant OM together into the Grand Canyon. We waited for a pair of tourists to move along, but they stood wondering what we were all looking at. Finally, we decided to start chanting even though the tourists were still there.
As we entered upon the third loud OM, the couple moved along. By the time we hit the fifth OM, our entire group lost all sense of ego self-consciousness. We dissolved into the OM and into the power of the Canyon. More tourists wandered by, and a few decided to stand with us in the light and power. Together we chanted a total of ten OM’s as a gift to the Canyon.
Our energy renewed and feeling more connected with the power of this special place, we continued our hike along the path leading to Hermit’s Rest. We found another outcropping with sweeping views, and decided to sit in meditation for twenty minutes. This time, there were no trees or bushes to hide behind; here we were, in full view.
Easily I slipped into silence, and the emptiness of the Canyon engulfed me. The trees lining the Colorado River far below suddenly seemed close enough to touch. Colors vibrated as my heart melted, merging with the vast expanse.
Far in the distance, I felt more than heard, tourists approach us. One family saw us and immediately hushed their voices, acknowledging our group in meditation. Another family was oblivious and talked loudly as they each took guesses at what the small building deep in the Canyon was, until they figured out it was a toilet for the people on the trail that leads to the Canyon floor. Near the end of our meditation, yet another family found us and decided to sit and enjoy the silence for themselves.
We are so fortunate to live in a country where we can meditate or not, and where we can enjoy nature in her full glory. I am thankful for the opportunity to sit in silence and in full view with my friends of the Rama Tribe. I love that my practice of meditation is no longer something odd or weird, and that I can share it with anyone who wants to know how to merge into the Light.
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