The Yoga of flying

I like to meditate on aircraft.

Not only is it a great stress reliever but it’s the most productive use of that time between taking off and landing when you can’t do very much else.

Smaller aircraft are better. The experience is more immediate.

My longstanding meditation practice is OM (open monitoring. I don’t like to use the term mindfulness). OM is the open, raw, undifferentiated experience of experience moment-to-moment. I have been doing it 30 years and most likely before then too as a kid.

This week I did a little internal flight on Flybe down to south coast. From Manchester its only about 45 minutes; just enough time to complete a decent little meditation.

I sat in my seat. Eyes partially closed. Breathing through the nose. I rested my hands in the lap in cosmic mudra with my feet flat on the floor. Then you start.


First there is the body, then the breath, then the sounds. Each provides a different experience. You let them in. You don’t define. You just witness.

Then you fall into the now!

Then there is an expansion to an empty, spatial knowing which seems to emerge right at the heart of the event/moment.

You are there as subject and object merge. You are both. You are momentarily in union, the non-dual state, the very core of yoga.

In your experience, background and foreground alternate, they come in and out they merge. No boundaries, no divisions, no definitions or descriptions.

Things are just as they are.

You understand what Patanjali was talking about when he said;

The world exists for the sake of the Self.

In other words the worlds exists for you to practice yoga.

And then you feel it.

You are the whole aircraft. You feel it. You really feel it.

You feel its shape, its presence and its intention. You feel its every shift and turn as it constantly adapts and responds to the movement of the air. You feel, its energy, its moment in the world, in the air, in space.


It’s not an intellectual understanding about you, the aircraft and flight. This is flying.

No you. No aircraft. No journey. No cabin crew. No passengers.

Just flying. Right here. Right now.

As the Buddha might have said:

When flying. Simply fly.

Remember to keep your seat belt fastened, seat back upright and tray table in the up position.


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