Many years ago on a 10-day meditation retreat, our teacher pointed out that nothing actually happens at midnight on New Year’s Eve. One moment follows the next as usual; it’s people that give it significance.
Nevertheless we decided to stay up and mark the occasion. Of course we did some of the usual things one might expect from meditators, like write down what we wanted to let go of and burn the paper in a fire.
Sitting and walking in silence all day is surprisingly exhausting, so most of us would be sound asleep by 10pm. The organizers knew we would need fortification to make it to midnight and made hot spiced cider and popcorn for us at 11 or so. We munched and sipped quietly, but there was a palpable sense of excitement in the air at this very unusual gathering.
Suddenly I thought about what the folks who’d been at Times Square earlier that evening would think if they saw us. I think we all had the same thought at the same moment, for someone began to giggle and soon the room erupted in laughter that went on and on. After some time it subsided and we calmly and quietly found our way back into the hall, marking the new year by sending lovingkindness to all beings everywhere.
May you and all beings find peace and harmony this year….
Photos: Moon setting at Lake Tahoe; sunrise in Carson City