Finding #Peace through a Hashtag

jessie oh

Meditating in nature requires a certain level of trust with the universe. Sitting for twenty minutes with your eyes closed in new and unfamiliar places is an uncomfortable feat.

In New York City, the only times I closed my eyes outside of four walls was when my transportation narcolepsy kicked in riding the train 40 minutes from Brooklyn to Times Square. It’s a terrible habit, but the combination of dim lighting, thunderous clatter and cradling turbulence is a recipe for sleep.

Still, New York City is where I started my daily practice in Vedic Meditation (same as Transcendental Meditation). Prior to that, I only scratched the surface living in Los Angeles through yoga, group guided meditations, and sound baths. I always came out of those gatherings pretending like I didn’t fall asleep for most of it. But I guess, always better rested for it.

I suppose I needed a daily practice in New York City simply because it’s a place where silence is sacred and the stress is high. It also came into my life simultaneously with a new job for a hedonistic magical circus nightlife-esque reverie of a show. After a year of mayhem and a year of (almost) daily meditation in this technique, something changed internally. I became apathetic to the stimulating environment around me and the people who surrounded it. Mainly, I was sure my purpose did not revolve around free Don Julio 1942 shots and 6am bedtimes; regardless of the experience I was helping curate for guests of the show.

I had already taken a leap of faith when I left my job in Los Angeles to move to New York, so the risk felt familiar when I decided to leave my unconventional job in search of greater meaning in my life. So I did what I do best. I ran. The difference this time was that I was running towards something, not away. I was withdrawing into myself, not from myself.

I rented out my apartment on AirBnB, packed a suitcase and since my bank account could not offer up such a trip as seen through traveler’s Instagrams hiking through Bali, etc. I hit the road in the good ol’ USA.

I knew there would be much introspection on this trip in between all the high and the many low moments. Rather than post daily updates through social media masking the real journey I was on, I used Instagram as a platform to record my moments of peace on the road. Each photo was uploaded unedited from my iPhone so as not to overthink the process. The only message promoted with the only real intent was #peace.

Meditating in nature requires a certain level of trust with the universe.

It also comes with an understanding that when we look up at the sky we are all just really tiny, no matter our size. My Instagram gallery is just a glimpse of the vulnerability and strength I possessed to move towards light, creativity and self-work. The road trip might be over, but the journey has only begun.

I’ve learned to understand that we exist as both human and spirit. While the human in all of us cries, doubts, gets angry and can generally feel like shit; the spirit in us can still look on, laugh and play. It is our birthright to be happy. What brought me joy? A 2013 disco-fueled Magic Tape by Belgium producer The Magician. Join me in my travels as I face myself and express myself.


IG: @magictape31

Baha’i House of Worship, Illinois
Fair Oaks Farm, Indiana
Monument to the Immigrants Woldenberg Park New Orleans, Louisiana
City Park New Orleans, Louisiana
BAPS Houston, Texas
Hippie Hollow Austin, Texas
Biopark Albuquerque, New Mexico
Horseshoe Bend Page, Arizona
Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Joshua Tree, California