Last Friday, members of Thich Nhat Hanh's Blue Cliff Monastery brought a little mindfulness to Union Square. About 100 participants staged a "meditation flash mob" in the middle of the busy park, contrasting their frantic surroundings with complete silence. Facing five robed monks, the eclectic group of meditators sat silently for 30 minutes, as locals and tourists alike crowded around in wonder.
After the sitting meditation, the group created even more of a stir when they began walking meditation up Broadway. New Yorkers' gazes were forced momentarily away from their smartphones and onto the slow-moving religious crowd, blocking their path on the sidewalk. The smartphones, of course, were then used to snap the necessary Instagram pictures.