Anyone who knows me knows I love serendipity—little connections between disparate things that somehow make sense. I am going to propose a new connection—meditation and Mark Rothko.
On Sunday I started to use an app, suggested by my mate, called “10% Happier.” It’s developed and supported by a local company, the Change Collective, based in Cambridge, which always makes me happy to shop local.
As I was practicing my meditation this morning, I started to think about the strange but lovely sensation of vibrations like I was flying on a magic carpet. This being meditation, my mind wandered a little bit, until, of course, a soft voice reminded me to focus on breathing (thank you, Joseph!). In that short time, however, I experienced a vibration between my eyes—and no, I was completely straight—and I realized that it reminded me a day, about 22 years in my past, when, visiting dear friends in London, I went to the newly completed Sainsbury wing at the Tate. It’s hard to describe using language what I felt when I walked into this darkened chamber, lit lowly, but enough to help my eyes differentiate the amazing, 1-story tall Rothko paintings. The colors on the dark fields seemed beyond pigment, and to vibrate intensely as if aliens from space were trying to communicate through them. It was a transcendent experience. I stood for a period of time that I cannot recall. I could not look away, and yet, when I finally did, I sobbed quietly, collected my bag, crumpled on the floor, turned, and silently floated away back into the maw of the Tate.
So, no, this is not a sales pitch for 10% happier, or even meditation, but maybe next time you are in front of a Rothko, you may consider meditating. I am sure Joseph would approve.