Wanderlust Communications Manager, Tatum Fjerstad, and Wanderlust Wayfarer, hike leader and blogger, Elizabeth Crisci, organized an open sit – a meditation flash mob, if you will, at Wanderlust Stratton. Elizabeth made a sign and Tatum alerted the masses via social media and text. At 1:15pm on the lawn between The Greatest Place and The D’Om, they pushed their sign into the ground and sat among the many yogis on the grass.
The experience was interesting. There were expectations and reality. There were noises and distractions. There were egos and fears. We asked Elizabeth and Tatum to recount their experiences.
WL: How long did you meditate for?
TF: I had to assist a class, so I think I stared at 1:15 and finished around 1:45. 30 minutes. Pretty good.
EC: When I sat down at first it was about 1:15, somewhere in there my meditation in the community became hanging out with the community, but I think I got a solid 30 minutes.
WL: Be honest, how many times did you open your eyes?
TF: Like a million times. I wanted to see if anyone was joining us. They weren’t.
EC: At first I was really interested in what was going on around us and whether or not anyone was sitting down. Probably half way through my sit I stopped caring and just stayed seated, I opened my eyes when my friends sat down next to me, which was a nice way thing to open my eyes to.
WL: What about your biggest distraction?
TF: Wondering if anyone was there. Listening to people walk by so closely and loudly. Wondering why no one was joining us. Mostly giving a hefty shit about what everyone else was doing and why.
EC: I was secretly listening in to conversations around me, I also heard people taking pictures or stopping to observe and that was distracting for sure.
WL: What did you do to stay focused?
TF: I tried some alternate nostril breathing (mentally) and I’ve been meditating on the worth ‘faith’ for awhile now. But my mind was on a mission to distract me from my present. Big time.
EC: There is a mantra that I repeat when I sit for meditation, and so I went back to that when I noticed myself distracted.
WL: Was was your most negative or embarrassing thought?
TF: There were these people on a blanket, super close to us, talking about how much they couldn’t stand the way their friend is so spacey or something. And I thought to myself, Well, I can’t stand how much shit talking you’re doing this close to me while I’m trying to meditate. I heard that thought come through and I was like, Whoa, Tatum. You need a nap or something – cool it on the anger.
EC: I was worried that people thought we were stupid. I watched that rise up, and I had to let it go.
WL: Moral of the story?
TF: It’s two-fold for me. First, I have a lot of work to do in the arena of judgement of others and myself. I’ve got a mean voice in my head that needs a lot of love. I’ve really got to rewire some old, super deep neural pathways or I’m gonna get cancer or something. Secondly, maybe no one really joined us because this is Wanderlust. At Wanderlust, people don’t care if you’re in a backbend or doing acroyoga or meditating. If you want to cartwheel across the Uncommons, do it. No one is going to give a shit. Everyone came here to be around a bunch of people who will let them be who they are without thinking they’re on the fringe of some sort of subculture. We’re all in this together. We’re all brothers and sisters.=
EC: At the end of the day, I thought it was really nice to sit on the grass with my friend with my eyes closed. There were a few people I knew who joined us in the beginning and a few who joined us in the end. What I really took away from this is that having the support of my community around me feels good. At some point during my 30 minutes I was able to let go of my expectation and just enjoy the moment. I guess I’ve been doing a lot of yoga.