A New York Minute

New York at NightI just got back from New York City.

The pace of living there is completely different from where I live. I am used to moving fairly quickly at work and slowing down at home.

But New Yorkers move fast, all the time.

I found myself moving at their speed, just a few hours after landing at La Guardia. There wasn’t any one thing that kicked me into high gear. It was just the overall experience. The need to go fast came out of nowhere, and I did not notice that it was there until I slowed down to go to sleep.

New York City is a prime example of how people can control your environment and how your environment can control your behavior.  It is also the embodiment of Western society.  Industry, finance, fashion, media, steel, pavement, cars, etc.

So, in almost all parts and hours of my New York City trip, meditation did not seem appropriate at all.

But there were a few brief moments of calmness and contemplation.  They were in the parks and the museums.

Right in the middle of this whirlwind, people sat on benches and walked around buildings, doing nothing but observing.  They were watching nature and taking in beautiful creations of mankind.  Their minds were probably racing.  I know mine was.  But at least the environment was right.

Seeing these people and sharing these moments with them, reinforced my belief that everyone has the need for mindfulness.  

Our environments may not lend themselves to be that way. The opportunities to practice mindfulness may not come very often.  But they do come and environments do lend themselves to it, sometimes.

And people can control your environment and your environment can control your behavior.

Photo courtesy of Trodel 

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