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The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive

Public Displays of Meditation

MedMob Amsterdam 

It was the om heard ’round the world. Yesterday in 108 cities—from London to Los Angeles, Hong Kong to Houston, Barcelona to Birmingham, and more—“MedMob” groups participated in large-scale displays of meditation.

Playing off of the flash mob concept, in which strangers organize online, arrange to meet at a specific time and place, and then perform an unexpected public act, MedMob members delight in presenting meditation in a surprising, inclusive way, says Shambhala Sun. MedMob’s goals aren’t complex, but they are significant:

1. To create an environment for people from all walks of life to come together in meditation.
2. To expose the world to meditation through public display of meditation.
3. To come together as a global community to send positive intentions out into the world.
4. To show that leading by example is the best way to lead. Simple acts can stimulate major paradigm shifts in thinking.

The MedMob movement, which began in Austin early this year, is for everyone, reports David Telfer McConaghay for elephant journal. Telfer assures us that passers-by do not need to believe in “hippy-dippy feel-goodery” to participate in meditation, whether in a group or alone. “The goal is not to attain some state of illusory bliss, then wander around all day in a disconnected daze with a silly grin,” he writes. The goal (if meditation can be said to have a goal) is to allow the naturally arising chaos and distractions of the mind to settle and fade so that we can act and make choices with greater intention and clarity. 

Below are a handful of blissful (and maybe even a little hippy-dippy) feel-good photos from the July 28, 2011 international MedMob event:

MedMob Long Beach 

Long Beach, California (above)


MedMob London 

London (above)


MedMob Rome 

Rome (above)

Sources: Shambhala Sun, elephant journal 

Images courtesy of MedMob. (The photo at the top of this post comes from Amsterdam.)