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Meditation in the Park – a personal response

a personal response by Trish Pearce

It was during the time of Covid that I first attended meditation in the park. I wasn’t sure about meditating outside. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to meditate with all the different outside noises and people walking past. A group of people meditating might draw an element of passer-by who might shout abuse at me.

It was all a bit of an unknown experience to me. I remember it being a hot day as I walked down Bishops Hill with my meditations stool in a bag slung over my shoulder. As I entered the park and walked towards the mansion house I could see Familiar figures in the distance. It was such a delightful, emotional sight to see sangha friends preparing for meditation
after such a long time being told to keep 6 feet apart.

With Covid safety measures in place we all waited for the gong of the bell to call us to meditation. With my eyes closed I could hear the sounds surrounding me started. I was aware of the sounds of people in the distance talking and laughing, birds tweeting in the trees, the wind rustling in the leaves above me.

As I turned my mind to meditation and focused on my breath the sounds became like water washing over pebbles in a babbling brook and slipped away into the background. It wasn’t long before I was no longer self-conscious. I was meditating with people I cared for loved and respected. I was with sangha once more.

The meditation outside had a different energy, energetic and refreshing.

Since that first time I attended several more meditation in the park events, and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Some of the people walking past us were curious, some came over and enquire about what was happening. others left us alone and were quite respectful.