Submitted by Flynn
Rumi, the Thirteenth Century Persian poet and theologian, wrote: “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” Of course, Rumi was very wise to observe that none of us may find tranquility and enlightenment—a state in which mind, body, and soul are as clear and as brilliant as a “polished mirror”—if we allow ourselves to be preoccupied and irritated by life’s many “rubs,” inconveniences, distractions, and other challenges. But he never lived in Manhattan, did he, and so never had the opportunity to experience the countless “rubs” that are an essential part of life in the City: rush hour on the C Train, trash-day in August, the ladies room at the Port Authority Bus Terminal (I could go on, but I won’t).
After giving it some thought, however, I’ve concluded that, with the proper mindset, New York City can be a perfect place to “polish your mirror.” I would like to suggest that we can experience the City—with all its bustle, grime, and clamor—as a source of great beauty and a haven for personal restoration. In fact, I believe that we can transform our experience of living in the City into an active, vibrant practice—one that offers us constant reminders—that noisy construction site, that dingy subway car—to always remain mindful. And, believe me, if you can be mindful here, you can be mindful anywhere.