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tuesday night at city hall


This visual came to me during a morning shaking meditation while I was in Haad Tien, Thailand, in January of 2011.

I am walking into Gloucester’s City Hall with a dozen other friends with whom I meditate regularly.  It’s a Tuesday night and the City Council is gathered for its weekly meeting.   The conversation is focused on the city’s budget, and everyone is very tense.  My friends and I dispatch to different parts of the main room. Some of us go to the mezzanine, upstairs.  We sit down quietly and start paying attention to what is happening around us while staying connected to our own energy, feeling the sensations in our bodies.   The City Councilors and assembled community members suddenly fall quiet.  The nine councilors just start staring at us around the room, wondering what is happening.  We are not saying anything, just paying attention to everyone assembled.  We are feeling the moment.  Our state of presence seems to be slowly pulling everyone else into presence as well.   The conversation quiets down and everyone eventually falls silent.  People are finally listening rather than filling the space with opinions and ideas. We can feel people’s minds relaxing, and their hard edges softening.   There is suddenly a new opportunity to access new solutions and possibilities that come from beyond our regular thinking minds.

As I witness the visual unfold, I suddenly understand that when our individual and collective presence reaches a critical threshold, others get organically pulled into that same space.   We don’t have to try to get anyone’s attention.  People are spontaneously pulled into more presence and connectedness with self and others, without even necessarily understanding how or why this is happening.  All we need to do is keep building our capacity for present moment awareness.