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What Democracy Looks Like Today at Occupy Wall Street: Everyday Magic, Day 426

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

Meditation and Prayer at Zuccotti Park

This was what I found when I stepped into Zuccotti Park, ground zero of the occupy movement (located right next to the original ground zero of 9/11 in downtown NY): prayer and meditation. On the west side of the park, there were dozens of people, probably well over 100, sitting or standing in silent meditation. The air was charged with an electricity, but it was the electricity of

The altar and the keeper of the altar at this moment

love and peace, not the people’s mic and many discussions and meetings I had figured I would encounter. I sunk to the ground and sat less than a foot away from the altar people continually added gifts to, and joined in the prayer and meditation. Sitting there with the others, I was so happy at how the occupiers cultivate non-violence in themselves first.

Eventually, pigeons landed and walked close to those of us on the ground. Eventually, a man rang a bell, and we looked up, bowed to each other, and stood. Eventually, a young woman called out that all of us wanting to look at gender issues should go to the steps at the other end of the park because Eve Ensler was going to speak with us.

I headed toward the gender discussion, but first I walked along the kitchen, library, food service, clothing area (anyone could take whatever they needed), sleeping areas, huddles and circles of people meeting, sleeping, visiting, singing. When I got to the oth

They had a Lulav (a strange fruit, looks like a giant lemon) and Etrog (palm-like leaves), so I walked up to them. “Hey, what are you guys doing?” I asked. They lit up and answered me with a question (it’s a Jewish thing): “Are you Jewish?” I told them I was, and in no time, I was saying some Sukkot prayers with them and shaking the Etrog and Lulav. Then we spent ample time taking pictures of each other and ourselves.

Everywhere I looked, people made eye contact, said hello, sometimes even smiled. I shook hands with a man

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