I'm in a plane flying from California to Boston. I have tried moments of mindfulness since reading Ambika's description of Sharon Salzburg's explanation of this. I like the idea of paying in this way.
On the ramp down to the plane, I practiced patience and Lovingkindness with my fellow travelers. I noticed the accordion fold of the canopy attaching the plane to the ramp. The ramp’s carpet is a bubbly blue, hard and thin. It's meant to hold up under thousand's of footsteps hauling rollers bags each day. I was glad to have this hard working carpet under me as well as the accordion canopy keeping out the elements outside.
The stewards were chatting and joking quietly as we boarded. I was grateful that they were enjoying each other. I breathed slowly and deeply as I found my seat. An older gentleman blocked me and I smilingly teased him about needing to move just this one time as I clambered over him.
I took out my slew of flight magazines--People, Time, Mind, Shape--this is my time to catch up on popular culture, then settle my small backpack and purse under the seat.
I purposefully brought only these two carry-ons. My usual pattern is to bring too much. So I am trying to live with less. Experimenting. What happens when I pack so lightly? What do I miss?
I settle in my grey and blue seat and look out the window. Miles and miles of housing developments pucker the desert with an occasional mountain heaving up reddish earth in the hazy air.
We take off and I look out the window as we rise and rise, screeching engines pushing us off this planet.
Now it is nearly three hours later and I have sat and meditated again. Seventy deep throated buzzing Oms while seated next to my sleeping seat mate. Seventy Oms and many thoughts of people I know. I am imagining each of them and imagining holding each in a long hug. But it's a hug that they feel. Without knowing its from me. It makes me feel so happy to do this.