Town & Country Meditation

uncomfortable bench, author’s pic

My daily meditation is just sitting still and paying attention to where I am.

Mostly it’s the same place, a porch next to water and trees. When I close my eyes, I am aware of big and little waves and the breeze on my skin. Bird sounds. Boats and planes occasionally. A minimalist sound track.

There’s always something but I have to pay attention to notice. It’s not an effort, like ‘straining to hear.’ But it feels active, like syncing in or coupling with the environment.

Sometimes I keep my eyes open. If I see a duck sitting still near the shore, I’ll stay with it and have a duck meditation.

Other stuff definitely pops into my mind. It’s never all-duck start to finish. But I get back to where I am quickly.

A few days ago we left where we’ve been and came to a condo in a city. There’s a porch here too, eight stories above a busy street in a dense commercial-residential area.

First morning, I went out and meditated on where I was.

When I closed my eyes, I was engulfed. I let the fullness of sound and shaking sensations press into me. In that place, the present moment was absolutely loaded. Other stuff didn’t even pop into my mind. Well maybe once or twice, but it was one of those meditations that just sails by. Even produced some of those sweet tingly feelings on my scalp, which I just noticed.

Second morning was the same. With the addition of ear-splitting sirens from two Fire Engines rapidly exiting the Station across the street. That’ll pull you back real fast.

Street noise with a side of siren.

Town & Country Meditation carries a built-in expectation, an assumed judgment that Country = Better for Meditation.

It did feel a little weird going out to that noisy eighth floor balcony, but I didn’t talk about it with anybody or really even think about it very much. I just went out and did it not-knowing what it would be like.

The novelty would probably wear off eventually and the wall of city sound might feel different, but we’ll be leaving in a few days.

I’ll have a ferry meditation on the way back. I’ll watch the surface of the ocean without seeing what is beneath the outward appearance and maybe I’ll remember what I felt about the city when my eyes were closed and I wasn’t looking at its surface. Then I’ll notice my thoughts have drifted and I’ll bring them back to where I am.

Image by David Denton

I write about VR and other topics I have no standing to write about on Medium and Substack.

I have a black belt in learning and I’ve been meditating for so long you’d think I’d be enlightened but I’m not.



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Tom Nickel

Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos