Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yes, we did Sit4Change and surprised ourselves

Macy's giant artificial Christmas tree
behind us as we sat for change
© Sharon L Richardson
Used with permission
On Friday I told you about Sit4Change and how I would join others in support of Occupy San Francisco and the entire Occupy movement worldwide. The idea was that through faith, meditation, prayer--whatever spiritual practices we as individuals employ--we might effect personal transformation, and through that, global transformation.

The individual who scheduled the San Francisco action did not clearly define the where we would meet,  nor give many details about the how. In fact, near as we can tell, he or she didn't show up on Saturday. In the end, only my partner and I participated. Here's what happened.

The night before the event, our local news reported that a person carrying guns at the Occupy SF location had been arrested and released on bail, vowing to return on Saturday with an AK47. Neither of us would-be martyrs, but wanting to honor our commitment, and with no further information forthcoming from the organizer, my partner and I decided to sit instead in Union Square. I announced it on the Meetup page, invited others to join us, and designated a subtle sign so they could find us.

On Saturday morning, the two of us made our way downtown. At 9 am, the city was already bustling, the square busier than anticipated. The giant, fake Macy's tree was up and decorations nearly complete. The big crane used to carry workers to the top stood idle. A few skaters sailed around the recently installed ice rink--an annual holiday extravagance, one of two in the city..

View from our Sit4Change spot
© Sharon L Richardson
Used with permission
We picked a spot and sat, facing Macy's. Double decker tourist buses came and went, unloading and reloading. Sleepy singles and couples ambled by, carrying disposable cups of coffee, not one reusable mug in sight. An enormous generator behind us, powering the crane perhaps, roared to life and spit noxious fumes.

Still, committed, and having decided our old knees and backs wouldn't tolerate nearly two hours, we set our timer for 54 minutes, exactly half of the 108 prescribed minutes for the sit, settled in and began our meditation.

Despite the noise and fumes, I felt instantly at peace. As I focused on my breathing, I wondered what about this exercise could possibly be transformative, personally or globally. I gave the thought to the wind and to Spirit and breathed, eyes open, fully awake, aware of all going on around me.

When my bones began to ache, and sure we were near an hour, I glanced at my partner. She glanced back and smiled, pulled out her phone and checked the time. We had about three minutes to go. Reluctant to leave the peace of our meditation, I was grateful when she said, "Can we talk?" Grateful because I knew she meant she wanted to talk about what she had experienced just then.

Without preamble she said, "I want to organize grandmothers for peace to sit like this regularly." My heart skipped a beat. I knew, in that way we do sometimes, that we would do this.

So next week, dear friends, Grandmothers for Peace will occupy San Francisco for the first time, in the spirit of the The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering: A Story for Anyone Who Thinks She Can't Save the World.

I don't claim to have been transformed, but I can tell you that I feel a tremendous sense of peace as we prepare for this first gathering of the grandmothers, even if once more it turns out to be only we two.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


Wanda said...

The only change we can be sure of is in ourselves...yet, I believe that like minds coming together can influence the collective field in ways we don't understand (logically). This has been demonstrated in many meditation projects seeming to bring crime rates down.

kario said...

Beautiful! I would have joined you had I been in SF. Perhaps the goal isn't to be transformed,but to begin transforming.

Kathryn Grace said...

Wanda, you are so right, as always. We change our ourselves and some think in doing so, we change the world. I hope it's true. On the second point, I have to tell you, I'm counting on it.

Kario, thank you. Yes, transforming, inside, outside, all the world round.

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