In a recent Wall Street Journal magazine article What Did J.D. Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, and Sarah Bernhardt Have in Common?, A.L. Bardach highlighted the effects of a very interesting meditation master on many illustrious old school masters from literary giants to actors. This meditation master and the giants he influenced have affected our culture in many ways from Joseph Campbell’s influence on George Lucas and Star Wars, to William James, to meditation practice itself.
Bardach’s research let many in on a little secret. Unlike the scandalous events related to the sexual activity of yoga practitioners or a history of physical culture yoga practices in the U.S., Bardach gave us a peak at a little known swami (Indian monk). This swami, the disciple of a famous Indian saint, advocated yoga, meditation to be more precise, as a means for the evolution of human consciousness. His name was Vivekananda, and Bardach’s subtitle suggests that he was the “pied piper of the global yoga movement.
Vivekananda’s teacher was an extraordinary man named Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna attained the ultimate goal of meditation conforming to the practices of the Vedic tradition. He then went on to follow the practices of other world religions to see what the result would be. His spiritual genius concluded that all those who followed the interior practices of their tradition would achieve the same result as he had. He was truly the harbinger of the interfaith tradition, long before Vivekananda came to the World Parliament of Religions in 1893.
Well, we have come a long way, for good or bad, from what Vivekananda had to teach us about yoga or meditation. Meditation has taken on an interesting twist recently – the meditation flash mob. We have all heard of the flash mob phenomena. Wikipedia says a flash mob “is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.
On April 28 in downtown Indy, on the circle, a meditation flash mob will be taking place. It will be the second one in Indy per one of its local organizers Sue Wagman, the owner of a local boutique, Earthroamers Imports. Aside from her trips to Bali, Indonesia in search of eastern gifts and exotic apparel, Sue says she’s been around the meditation scene for 40 years or so. She said that the man who jumped on the national bandwagon to get the international phenomena of Medmob to Indy is Andrew Smith.
Come rain or shine on Saturday at noon this meditation flash mob will convene around the circle and sit for forty minutes. There will be a preliminary briefing shortly before they sit down says Sue. The organizers will let everyone know when the time is up. The Medmob will definitely be something other than a pointless act.
The intention of Medmob is to create an environment for people of all religions, all world views, and all experience levels to join together in meditation. I am sure Vivekananda would applaud this effort. Their vision is to continue inspiring world-wide meditation until the entire world is invited to join – literally.
A grand vision for world peace? The world needs more peaceful visions like this. You can find out more a www.medmobindy.org or call 317-500-4601