Video: Planes And The Art Of Meditation

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some people really hate planes. They hate the security check-in, they hate the cramped seating, they hate the food; generally, they just want to be at their destination — understandably. I’ve never felt this way. The lines, the waits, the dreadful in-flight magazines and tiny televisions: I don’t care, I like the entire experience.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t travel enough for “work,” which would mean the plane was a barrier between me and what I needed to get done to finish off the work day. To me, the plane always represents escape, and — for at least half the flights — the beginning of a trip. The security lines only serve to heighten my excitement, and I actually love to read whatever magazine the plane publishes, mainly because the only time I read them is when I’m traveling (okay, I hate their crossword puzzles — have you ever come across one that wasn’t filled out?).

But I think the real reason I like planes is that, as any reader of this site can probably tell, the flight is one of the few times that I am completely off-the-grid. No phone, internet access (yet), e-mail, Twitter updates, etc . . . Not that I mind these things, but it’s rare that I’m forced by my physical surroundings to devote the next few (or in the case of my flight to South Africa, 17 1/2) hours to a book, or to stare out the window, or to catch a cat-nap, without the slightest opportunity for me to be distracted or to devote my time to something more “productive.” Buddhists call this meditation, senior citizens call this the beach, but either way, book me on a 19-hour flight and the last thing you’ll hear from me is a complaint — or an e-mail.

The above video, from Stephane Carcopino, really captures that feeling in a plane. Who knew the old travel writing maxim, “never write about the transport,” didn’t apply to video?

[Video via The Expeditioner Vimeo Group]

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