Wednesday I began what I hope will become a Reed tradition. I spent part of my lunch hour in silent meditation.
Make no mistake. I had a lot on my mind and a lot to do. It was barely three days into a new school year, the enrollment in my chemistry class is 30% larger than normal, and several support issues involving class computers had not been resolved. I had a lot to do and I still do.
But I’ve noticed that Reed culture is always giving me things to do. It’s always go, go, go. Do more stuff and do it faster. Forget 10 hour days and multi-tasking. It’s 24/7 or else for the average Reedie (and you still feel like you’re always falling behind).
So yesterday I pressed the ‘reset’ button. I sat. I listened. I felt the chair and floor underneath me, the air blowing through the open windows, my breathing in and out, my heart beating. When I was finished, I still had my to-do list waiting for me in my office, but somehow it wasn’t the same pressing problem that it had been before.
If you would like to join me, come to the Reed Chapel at lunchtime on Wednesdays this semester. Sit anywhere you like. At approximately 12:10 I will ring three bells to start the silent period. At 12:40 I will three bells to signal the end of silence. (And for those who need to leave early, I’ll ring one bell at 12:20 and another at 12:30.)
This event is open to all members of the Reed community and their guests. It’s OK to leave early or arrive late. Just enter quietly and find a spot. There aren’t any strict rules beyond respecting the quiet as much as you can. If you need to scratch or cough, go ahead. Otherwise, all I ask is that you share and preserve a few minutes of mid-week quiet.