Writing

Connections

by | Mar 7, 2022 | 0 comments

I offered a livestream meditation practice earlier today. This is something I do on Insight Timer with some regularity now. Usually the first Monday of every month sees me host a very short (15-20 mins) exploration of embodiment there.

Livestreaming is not something I’m overly familiar with. In fact, as recently as one year ago, I don’t think I’d ever taken part in such an event. Certainly not within the context of meditation. I’d done in-person events, of course. And Zoom events. And telephone events. But livestream events? Not a one.

The first couple times, I really didn’t like it much. I found the fact that I couldn’t see anyone – couldn’t see except for the few who had little thumbnail images floating about toward the bottom of the screen – I found this extremely unsettling. I felt like I was sitting with nobody. Speaking with nobody. Practicing with nobody.

I found myself pining for Zoom, which is a much more familiar platform to me. I started grumbling about how much better Zoom is for interpersonal connection, among other things. And after carrying on like this for a few minutes – after a little too much of this rose-colored complaining – I had to chuckle out loud at myself.

I vividly recall the first time I taught meditation in anything other than an in-person manner. This was perhaps ten or twelve years ago. We were using a telephone conferencing service to gather. I remember sitting at my desk, holding the phone hot to one ear. I remember trying not to move too much lest the handset drag the rest of the device all over the place. I remember the silence – the vast and intimidating silence – on the other end of the line. 

I didn’t much like that experience, either. I was more or less struck with it, though. So I returned to those conference calls again and again. As I did this – and as I started to settle in and relax a little – something interesting happened. I started to sense that there was a measure of connection apparent in our get togethers. It was certainly very different from what I experienced in-person. But there was a real sense connection waiting to be acknowledged and explored there. Which, in time, I did and came to appreciate.

Something similar happened with Zoom. I didn’t like that format in the beginning either. Returning there again and again, though, I noticed another sense of connection – another different sense of connection – emerging. This is a kind of connectedness I’ve also come to appreciate with repetition and time.

This morning was perhaps my fourth livestream on Insight Timer. So I’ve now returned to this format at least that many times. And through this, wouldn’t you know it, another sense of connection is revealing itself. It’s different than in-person connection, of course. It’s also differs from the connection I feel over the phone or through Zoom. But it is a sense of connection, nonetheless. And this morning, for the very first time, I found myself settling into and enjoying this.

All of which has me thinking how deep our linkages are with one another. And reflecting upon how many avenues of connection are available to us in this world, in these bodies, and in this life. Personally, I just seem need a small amount of practice in turning and re-turning my attention in this direction. In turning and re-turning until what’s waiting can be acknowledged and welcomed.

– Neil

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