On a search for stillness and peace amidst a rhythm of chaos, I meditated for four hours on the corner of Yonge and Dundas street, one of the busiest intersections in downtown Toronto. I had set up two practice mats in opposition to one another: one for me, and one for any passerbyer who wished to join. From there, I closed my eyes and began cycling through bouts of hatha flow and mindfulness meditation.
Learning to still the fluctuations of the mind within a controlled, calm, and tranquil environment is indeed powerful, but only half the battle; this simulated practice space does not extrapolate perfectly to the entropy and turbulent aspects of our daily lives.
A more realistic micro-depiction of our living environment may be better represented by a mixture of blaring police sirens, loud honking from impatient drivers, shouting religious activists, a collision of musical sounds from buskers reverberating from several directions, ants crawling on my feet, cigarette smoke swirling the air, teenagers screaming “LOSER” in my face, confused spectators crowding my space, and a continuous stream of clicking cameras.
The point is: If you can discover peace here, you can discover it anywhere.