New York City is a wild place. It is so diverse, and so segregated. People in one part of the town could spend their whole life without stepping outside their neighborhood. When we drove by Harlem, everyone is black; now I am living in Flushing, everyone is Asian, mostly Chinese.
I go to work in Manhattan, and come back to eat and sleep in Flushing. It feels as if I am in the United States in the morning, and I am back in Shanghai at night. The contrast between the two worlds are quite sobering, and confusing at the same time. In Manhattan, I hear people complain about the unpunctual cross-continental airlines. In Flushing, I listen to neighbors talking about their two-year experience of pizza delivery. People's life can be that different. I guess, only in NYC could I feel such strong contrast.
Meditation doesn't need to happen in a quiet temple. For me, meditation happens anywhere, at any time. The universe is my temple, and I meditate freely in this fascinating world. Meditation is a higher state of awareness, awakening. And I can't think of a better place than NYC for real-world meditation.