As many of you may know by now, I absolutely love doing things for the first time. It may be a bit daunting to go into a situation not knowing what outcome to expect, but the anticipation can often be turned into excitement. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to attend an event I'd heard about before but hadn't got the chance to experience yet. The event was what I'd thought to be a group meditation... with a twist. Not sure how curvy that twist was gonna be or anything, but this is New York so you never know! I've only been to one other group meditation in Seattle with my big sister, so I assumed it would be similar to that; everybody gathers in a room, listen to someone speak about something thought-provoking, then sit in silence for like 2 hours. What I walked into on Saturday was completely different! First off, the crowd was about 30 years younger (meaning people were my age, and there was even a toddler running around), there was food and drink (which is what REALLY convinced me to go in the first place), and perhaps the most different aspect was the crowd participation! Now full disclosure, I was sick all last week, and just beginning to feel better, so the crowd participation threw me for a loop, however, if I would've known beforehand what to expect (and not feeling like a big ball of mucus), I probably would've been more into it.
Overall, it was very different from what I believed to be a typical meditation. I think the whole point is to cater to a younger crowd by luring them in with other activities to do instead of just sitting around in silence for a billion years (which I do agree, is quite an intense practice for those who aren't accustomed to sitting at home alone in silence all day anyway and having staring contests with your cat). The particular group that hosted this special event mentioned that they do monthly events called "The Big Quiet" where they host a massive number of people meditating together. One of their recent events took place at freakin Madison Square Gardens! It made me think about how huge even a simple practice of being quiet has the capability to be. It also made me think, is that the eternal measure of being successful? Numbers?
In the general sense, drawing a huge crowd to anything means that particular thing is a "success". But what if it doesn't draw a huge crowd? Is it NOT a success? This is something I actually do think about quite often, and in many different regards. In every instance, it seems that it's true, people generally measure success in numbers. Even something as simple as numbers regarding social media following. Of course, everyone wants to reach a wider audience, that in turn creates more business, which in turn creates more revenue... more numbers. I've even seen certain instances where your social media follower number determines what opportunities are available to you. For example, Youtube! Remember when I got the chance to take that class in the Youtube space? That was ONLY because I had a certain number of subscribers. Without that specific number threshold, I was nothing to them.
With the world having upwards of 7 billion people, numbers are seen as probably the most reliable source for categorization in a range of fields. Greater numbers seem to be greater in general. Think about it! Obviously, the larger number dollar figure you have the "better", The larger number of people (or majority) who share certain beliefs, or heritage in a certain area is usually the most dominant. The artists who sell the most records are the most renowned. But...what if you don't have the numbers? Does that make you any less?
On a much smaller scale, and in relation to my blog, no, it doesn't get extravagant numbers. There are many things I could do to change this, however, some may compromise the overall integrity, and furthermore, do I even want arbitrary numbers like that? At this point, I know the people who are reading are doing so because they want to without any (major) coercion on my part. If I did have astronomical amounts of people reading this, how would that change the way I post? However, without that reach, will I ever be seen as "successful" in society? If I am a writer whom no one reads, did I ever really write at all? Would I have ever even known about the meditation club if they hadn't had such a widespread numerical reach? Has their overall practice been somehow diluted due to the growing engagement? So many thoughts on this particular subject. Too many for one post, but thanks for attempting to follow along, and hey, you made it all the way to the end! As always, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the matter as well. What do you think about the way we tend to measure success in society? Are you on your own quest to grow your numbers?
P.s. My favorite part of the meditation event was where everyone got into smaller groups (of 3 or 4) and shared something personal about themselves. Each person in the group took a turn, and was mindful of the time, giving each of us an equal amount. I actually very much enjoyed that! Perhaps I'm just a smaller group kinda gal in general. I get quite overwhelmed in groups of people over 4. If you wanna check out Medi Club or The Big Quiet for yourself, visit them here.
P.p.s. I really do think about numbers quite often. The fact that things change so drastically the larger in number it becomes. Random number fact; did you know that the population of Earth has more than DOUBLED since 1960?? No wonder we're all insane. How many clowns you think can fit in this car?
P.p.p.s. This blog also makes me think of this song... (and yes, I can hit that high note at the end in case you were wondering)