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Well, here’s the third of my pictures for the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge: Arlington. It’s where I live and this is at Spy Pond Park just off the Minuteman Bike Path. Spy Pond was supposedly where the ice harvesting industry started, and before refrigeration, they used to ship ice from Spy Pond as far away as India!
This one was easy for me. Where should I go next? What landmark should I take a picture next to?
As I said in my earlier post, I’m starting a project I’m calling the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge. You can see the criteria I’ve listed here. Basically it’s to visit each of the 351 towns and cities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and to meditate/pray in each one for at least 10 minutes, and take a picture of me there to prove it.
I’ll be posting my pictures here to prove to myself (and all my readers) that I’m keeping myself honest. I can tell you that the first few dozen will probably be easy. Getting to places like Mt. Washington, Colrain, and Hardwick will take more effort!
Here’s today’s effort. and an easy one. I’m often on the Charles River.
So, where have you been and what have you been doing?
I haven’t posted in the past week, as I’ve been on a sort of personal sabbatical. I’ve had quite the busy and full past few months, and I needed some time that I could take to slow down, take stock of where I am, and get prepared for the months ahead. I’m just now coming out of it, and I think I’m better centered to do what I need to do for the winter.
Part of that was doing my Alternative Black Friday retreat. I had planned on doing that at a location in Arlington, but as luck had it I instead went to The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts, which is a lovely place. The day consisted of meditating, journaling, reading, walking, and other activities. I’ll be planning on doing it again in the future, so let me know if you’d like to be a part of the next session!
Part of doing this was to see what interesting and creative ideas could come out of my head at this time, and I think I got a good one. Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns. I’ve been to a majority of them (having lived in the Commonwealth for most of my life) but there are a number of towns that I haven’t been to yet. I have seen at least one blog about a couple working to visit all 351 towns and cities, and I thought this might be a great idea for me, as I’ve been looking for ways that I can incorporate practices to my life. I’m calling this the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge.
So, here’s my spin on this: I have to do a number of things in order for a town to count in the 351.
- I have to actually be in the town and either meditate/pray/sit quietly for at least 10 minutes. This makes it so I can’t count places that I’m driving through on the Massachusetts Turnpike (Yup, just picked up Blandford!)
- I have to take a picture of me in front of a landmark or building that would only be in that town (e.g. post office, town hall, police station, etc.) It doesn’t have to be a government building, but at least one where there’s no mistaking where it is. For example, I could choose Durgin Park or Fanueil Hall in Boston. It also means I can’t just step over the border 3 feet and sit for 10 minutes. I have to find where the life of the town is.
When will I finish this? I don’t know. It will be a fun project, and might get me to go out of my way to see a town I’ve never been to. I’ve always wondered about Nantucket, Egremont, Wales, and Plympton. I’m setting this as an intention and not a goal. I think that this will allow for some interesting things to happen, and if I just give myself the space for this, I hope they will.
So, what are you creating in order for interesting things to happen?