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The Passenger

One of my favorite meditation instructors is Jeff Warren on the Calm app. He approaches meditation as the "every person" thing. There's no super secret whispers or chants or music. I would call his approach as the one you can do any time. Walking, relaxing, doing, not doing. He stresses just being and finding perhaps sometimes that elusive equanimity which is just accepting it all as it is. I call it the "okay-ness" thing. Each person though has their own practice. There is no one size fits all in it so these canned sessions ever leave something behind but at least Jeff offers a step to a thing where some only offer the beginning and end and no step.

The real step is the move to sustaining the practice with unguided or light sessions to me. Perhaps brought along with sound casts of oceans or forests or parks with children playing. Or...

Being a passenger. I thought this one was particularly apropos to moving on a train. The train itself is a sense of meditation practice for me. Not leaving or arriving. The going. The being not here or there. You are not where you were and not where you will be. You just are. The train whisks you along but not so fast on Amtrak that you miss being the passenger. Not all sublimated to the forces of motion. Instead on Amtrak you get the delicious nectar of going.

Doing the meditation with this is so easy as is most of the practice to state but often difficult to obtain. We seem to want to measure the so-called success by some metrics. Length, thoughts, did we fall asleep? But I think being a passenger and not being here or there is not about any of those things. Feeling the warmth of the sun strike down or the coolness of the rain fall.

Once I rode the train 30 hours from Hanoi to Saigon Vietnam. It was a trip of being. Not either leaving or arriving but going. Small villages slowly evolve in Vietnam to isolated shorelines, rice paddies and meadows and mountain valleys. I realized then I am seeing things as I go that many never will see.

So when I go in a little over a week on the Amtrak voyage it will be the same. A moving meditation giving me moments to just sink into the chair, find the movements so hypnotizing and sustaining, realizing I will not simply arrive or depart now. I will be and have and do. The train is a meditation at work and the practice is being the passenger.

Jeff's thing is we can practice meditation wherever we find ourselves. Not just in some hallowed halls or sitting in some position but on trains and buses. Walking. Wherever you can be there you are!

Give it a try when you find yourself in the act of going. Not the leaving or arriving but the in-between part that can be so wonderful and primitive and unfinished. Just like our lives, you know.

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