“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.” ― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
The narrative: After a manic work week, the weekends come around and are gone very quickly. We try to cram into the space of two days, events and activities that we could take more time over. For this past weekend, I was determined would be different. After a very hectic and stressful week in the work world, I wanted to recharge myself and also take some time out.
So what was I going to do?
On Meetup [an online local group network], there was an advert for a sound meditation session in Oxford. Combining a trip to Oxford; which is only 20 minutes away from my home; with chance to experience a different type of meditation seemed like a great plan. A quick ten minutes on the internet booking my place and checking where I could park; nowhere local to the event it would seem; and I left.
These days, I am much more relaxed about doing things on the spur of the moment. Maybe, it is because with Mindfulness, I am trying to be more mindful and live in the present moment and do things on the spur of the moment. I don’t know. Anyway, back to the story.
Oxford city has been trying for a number of years to make it the city centre more environmentally friendly. As a result, cars are banned from the city centre and instead you are encouraged to park on the outskirts and get a “Park and Ride” trip on a bus into the city centre. Before you make the comment that buses are big polluters too, they are replacing the diesel busses with electric ones.
I got to the “Park and Ride”, paid the £2 to park and £2.60 for a return trip on the bus. Fifteen minutes later and I got off the bus in the city centre and walked for ten minutes to the meditation meetup.
The session was fantastic and a really different way to experience meditation. Rather than sitting in silence, you lie on the floor on a mat and experience the sound waves. It was over far too quickly for me, and I left feeling invigorated and really open and alive.
A quick walk along the high street to a local supermarket where I picked up some lunch was followed by a leisurely stroll to Magdalen Bridge where I sat to twenty minutes or so, eating my lunch and watching the world go by.
Present Moments: As I sat there, I felt each moment as it came. The couple walking together with an old fashioned Oxford style bike. The group of girls dressed up. The chap in a mortar and cape, with a pink carnation. It did not matter it was not sunny and it was spotting with rain. Nor did the sight and sound of the cars and busses going past disturb that moment. Moment by moment. Feeling alive and grounded.
Having finished my lunch, I then had to make a decision. Walk to the nearest bus stop to get the “Park and Ride” bus back to the car park or walk?
Without really thinking about how long it would take, I decided to walk back to the car park. It was a wonderful walk back. People would pass me, either walking or on cycles. Occasionally, one of the bus’s I was supposed to get a lift on would go past. At no point did I think about sticking out my arm to flag one down.
Approximately an hour later I was back at the car. Still refreshed. Still relaxed. And certainly in the present moment. Something so simple as a walk. Someone commented on the photo I posted with: “No city should be so big that you can’t walk out of it in a morning” Cyril Connelly. I would completely agree.
By the way. The photo I used for this is the famous “Flying shark”. If you want to read more, go to:
I leave you with the following quote: