That is MY Seat!

“Wait just a minute, that is MY seat,” the commuter demanded as she maneuvered around several younger people to take her seat of choice on the bus.  Momentarily stunned, the small group moved themselves and their belongings aside so this 40-something year old woman could have her “reserved” seat.  Although she got her bum on a cushion, there was nothing soft about her ride.  The energy around her seemed to simmer as the shock wore off and fellow passengers sat rife with animosity.

Over the years I have discovered the easiest way to familiarize myself with the “awakening” concept is to look for practical applications in everyday life.  If you have the chance to be with a crowd of people, your lessons are close at hand.

I live in a quiet oceanside community in British Columbia.  I teach business development downtown in Vancouver and commute to the office by bus.  The commute is quite pleasurable for me and I enjoy driving, but I made a decision that about 75% of the time I would ride the friendly transit system and give Mother Nature a break.

If you don’t use public transportation you may not be aware of the “positioning” that often precedes the ride.  Most people don’t want to have to stand for the hour-long commute, so they maneuver ahead of time, before they ever leave their home, to have a fighting chance for a soft seat on the bus.

People can experience intense anxiety, in advance of ever arriving at a bus stop or train station, wondering if and what seat they will occupy for their journey.

Can you imagine- actually raising your blood pressure, releasing toxic chemicals in your cells, and depleting your daily dose of energy so that you can worry in advance that you may not  have a seat?
Present moment awareness means you are awake in the moment you are in – right now.  Thirty minutes before the bus or train arrives, you notice that you are good, and life is good.  While catching a ride with someone to the station, you notice, that again, this moment is quite pleasurable.  The sun is shining, or there is a gentle rain.  Even the windstorm is okay, because in this moment, you are safely nestled in the shelter of the car.

It is a “practice.”  You simply choose to pay attention to this moment.

Today, I arrived cheerful at the park and ride only to find an extended line of close to 35 waiting passengers.  My anxious travel partner said,” You see, I told you we should have parked along the bus route and caught the bus ahead of these people.  We will never get a seat!”

I am smiling of course.  You see, in the years I have traveled the bus or train to and from work, I have NEVER ONCE not had a seat, unless I chose to give it away.  In fact, I am writing this post from my cozy aisle seat. 

How can you guarantee you will always have a seat?  Quit caring one way or another.  Loosen your tight grip on the future outcome, and embrace the seconds you are in, now.

If this moment finds you balancing yourself on a crowded train and holding the handrails for dear life, notice the strength of your body and your innate ability to remain solid while being tossed to and fro.  Discover within yourself how the experience changes if you let go of the frustration, and the way you wish it was, and how you deserve a seat.  Once you entertain a different perspective, you may be very surprised at what the moment has in store for you. 

Sit down and cozy up, your moment waits.

In the Grace of the Moment,




Photo Credit (1) Jodi Warren
Photo Credit (2) Jon Rawlinson



15 Comments Add yours

  1. JON says:

    No problem using my photo! You picked a pretty funny one! This was at Stampede a few years ago! The bus riders didn’t seem to mind…


  2. goldenzen says:

    Thanks so much Jon and for dropping by! The photo certainly represents a different perspective as mentioned above. 🙂

  3. liveforever says:

    Hi there Harmony – I usually get a seat too! If there isn’t one when I get on the train, I just think “someone will get off” and I stand towards the middle of the carriage. I always get one then, because someone DOES get off and no-one else goes for it. It’s weird!

    Cheers – Robin

  4. Ellen Wilson says:

    Hi Harmony,
    I actually found your site yesterday and thought, here is someone who practices Zen…
    I have had a few travel partners who constantly react like this also. Sometimes it is amusing, and sometimes it gets me down. Why rush through life when you can stay in the moment and actually live?
    Thanks for this. I’m RSS’ing your site!

  5. Friar says:

    Hi Harmony;

    Unfortunately, I havent’ reached that Zen-like state yet. I reluctantly admit I’m one of those people who would probably get their knickers in a knot about not getting a seat.

    I admire your patience. I’ll have to keep checking up on your blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up some pointers on how to “mellow out”.

  6. goatman says:

    I was just at Marions and saw your comment.
    Your post is a wonderful example of living in the moment; and your description of life as mostly waiting was right on with me also.
    I found that in the past we were waiting to get through college, waiting to get through the military experience, waiting to get to the next job and waiting to move to the next place, then we would begin actual living. It seemed endless. And the whole time we could have been enjoying the NOW. But wisdom comes with experience and now we wait no longer, but enjoy the present.
    Takes a lifetime, or maybe several I guess, to learn the technique.
    The best to you.

  7. goldenzen says:

    @liveforever – I better be careful how often I travel with you. You could “think” me right out of town. 🙂 Great to see you.

    @Friar – You are already well on your way, you see yourself. Most don’t. Please do come back, you are most welcome .

    @goatman- OH YES. You are talking my language. Let’s breathe and have a wonderful moment right now!

    Thank you to all!

    It is time to take my golden girl into the sunshine and forget about anything but Friday afternoon.


  8. Nicole says:


    I actually enjoy standing on the bus. I love the swaying to and fro. It reminds me of being on a boat out on the lake, and there’s not much I love more than that. Besides, it’s exercise! Tell me you don’t have sore muscles after a one hour standing ride into the city. Core exercises are all the rage now aren’t they? 🙂

    So let’s see.. here and NOW. NOW I am enjoying being in Saturday clothes. NOW I can hear Gilly gnawing on a bone in the other room. NOW there is a dove cooing randomly in the back yard. NOW I am going to get another cup of coffee and catch up on the rest of my blogroll.

    Thank you for always reminding me about NOW. 🙂


  9. Sounds like the law of attraction to me 😉 and it works too, by the way. Did for me, anyway. I work at home so public transportation isn’t even an option for me, although I suppose I could ride around town with my laptop just for the heck of it (not a bad idea actually).

  10. surjit says:

    A good informative post. God bless.

  11. goldenzen says:

    @Nicole, You are a sweetheart. That is definately the spirit!

    @ Melissa – true, you could but the question is just begging to be asked…WHY :-)))

    @ Surjit, bless you my friend. Not sure how often we would find you on the bus!

  12. Liara Covert says:

    Whether or not you get a seat on the bus is less important than whether you permit negative thoughts to control you. To focus on what you have rather than on what you don’t, is the first step to reinforcing gratitude. If you choose to appreciate having access to the bus so you don’t have to walk, then you have a reason to smile come what may.

  13. Hi Harmony,

    This works for me all of the time with parking spots. If I get the one closest to the door, I call that “rock star” parking, but if it’s one or two in, than it’s “princess” parking. Those that ride with me always say, “gosh, you’re so lucky”. I just smile. 🙂

  14. goldenzen says:

    Liara, EXACTLY. My point said in such a clear way. The place of gratitude opens the door for such delight in every moment.

    Barbara: And when you don’t get the parking space…all is good. 🙂

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