Subway Meditation

One of the best things about living in Berlin is the city’s public transport system. After more than 25 years of commuting almost exclusively by car, I am so grateful to now be riding buses and trains in the company of fellow Berliners and people from around the world. Sometimes while riding the subway I like to practice a meditation that goes something like this (Click to hear an audio recording of this meditation):

Breathing in, I see people of all ages, backgrounds and skin colors around me.
Breathing out, I am grateful to be surrounded by such a beautiful and diverse human family.

Breathing in, I look at the faces around me, some smiling, some worried, some tired-looking.
Breathing out, I embrace the smiles, worries and exhaustion on the faces around me.

Breathing in, I am happy that the people around me practice very hard to be of service to their families, neighborhoods, cities and society.
Breathing out, I know they also experience many setbacks, frustration, disappointments, sadness and anger, sometimes causing them to act out their pain.

Breathing in, I am grateful there are so many talented, skilled, dedicated and generous people living in our city.
Breathing out, I bow in gratitude to my fellow passengers for helping keep our city mostly safe, comfortable, interesting and beautiful.

Breathing in, I am sending love to all who are suffering, who may be depressed or in the grip of addiction, who are homeless or feel isolated, who have come as refugees without papers and worry about being deported, who have escaped violence and lost loved-ones, who can’t sleep at night and worry what the future holds.
Breathing out, I pray they may be at peace and I promise to help find ways to ease their suffering.

Breathing in, I wish all the people around me a beautiful day filled with joyful, supportive and loving interactions.
Breathing out, I smile at the people around me.

Subway scene from the 1987 movie “Wings of Desire” (“Himmel über Berlin”)

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