You know you are in Edinburgh when you attend Mindful Lunchtime at St. Mark’s Unitarian Church. Every Tuesday for about the past ten to fifteen years urban dwellers of Edinburgh (Edinburghers) have had the opportunity to stop and enjoy a bit of mindful practice during lunchtime. The weekly event is a collaboration of the Wild Geese Sangha in the tradition of Plum Village and the Unitarian Congregation of Edinburgh, and of course the lunchtime practice is open for anyone who is interested.
Knowing that I was going to be in the area, Jon Bagust, the creator and facilitator of Mindful Lunchtime, asked if I would be willing to facilitate a session. I had facilitated once before a few years ago at the invitation of Jon and knew what a terrific event it is – how could I refuse.
Between 12:30 and 2:00 every Tuesday the doors of St. Mark’s is open for a schedule of mid-day practice. One just needs to bring their lunch and their mindfulness. The Lunchtime event begins with sitting mediation and walking meditation from 12:30 to 1:15. At 1:15 to 1:40 there is eating meditation in silence. After the meal at 1:40 to 2:00 there is another session of sitting meditation. What makes this schedule so accessible to the urbanites of Edinburgh is, I believe, two things; first, it is in the heart of Edinburgh; second, you don’t have to attend the whole thing. The Mindful Lunchtime schedule is set up so that anyone can join in at any of the practices. If you can’t make the sitting, fine, join in for the meal. If you can’t stay after the meal, great, enjoy the rest of your day.
I think that Mindful Lunchtime must be one of the great secrets of our time because I am really surprised that this idea and expression of the practice hasn’t spread to other urban areas. In any event, the idea and the mindful energy of Mindful Lunch is there for you to eat up – bon appetite!
Also – I gave a public talk at St. Mark’s the next evening, Wednesday, June 6th. You can find it on the Dharma Talks Page.