Recently I was entering the gym for my morning workout. As I approached the door a woman entering at the same time said, “Good Morning.” I replied “Good Morning.” My response surprised her as she said most people don’t reply good morning anymore. I also surprised myself by greeting her. I was not expecting to. Why do we not greet strangers?
Reflecting on this I think we don’t greet others because we are caught up in our own thoughts. Perhaps we don’t even hear others greet us. We preoccupied with what is happening in our head. Ruminating too much about what happened in the past or creating unrealistic stories of the future. We are not aware of our own presence or the presence of others.
The reason I was able to say good morning that day is because I recently begun morning meditation. In this practice I spend 10 minutes each morning sitting in the car before going into the gym focusing on my breath. Breathing In, Breathing Out. Over and over again. Gently pushing intruding thoughts to the side.
As part of this practice, I’ve become aware of myself and others. I was surprised at my response that day, but there was no need to be. Since meditating daily I’ve been saying good morning to the people who scan our key cards at the gym. Prior to regular mediation I waited anxiously to check into the gym, ignoring everyone I passed. So, saying good morning to the person I met at the door was part of a renewed focus on presence I’ve gained through meditation.
Do you greet others? Do they greet you in return? Are you even aware of your own presence and the presence of who is around you?
Take a moment now to Breath In, Breath Out, and Repeat.