The Big Quiet Inside the Oculus 

A flash mob meditation at the World Trade Center reinforces the power of connection.

By: Kit and Ace | Photos: Collin Hughes


When plans for The Big Quiet, a 1000-person mass meditation inside the Oculus, a public 24/7 space and transportation hub, at the World Trade Center were cancelled due to permit issues, things were looking bleak. The sold-out event had been the culmination of months of planning between Kit and Ace and The Big Quiet. But 48 hours before things were to kick off, we were notified by officials that our approval to hold the event at the Oculus had been revoked due to unforeseen events.

Undeterred by the disheartening news, a new plan was concocted on the quick – a mass meditation flash mob inside the Oculus that was open to the greater community, rather than just a private event. It was the first of its kind in New York City at this type of scale. Led by The Big Quiet founder Jesse Israel, nearly 1000 participants, hundreds of onlookers and even police participated in a mass meditation that featured a string quartet, a 16-person choir and more.

It was a powerful and sometimes emotional scene, as native New Yorkers and people from around the world convened to participate. The Oculus – both in its space and what it means to the city of New York – made for the perfect setting. This outpouring of support was why it was so important for us to move forward with this event, regardless of imposed regulations.

For more info about the evening, Israel has recapped The Big Quiet event at the Oculus on their blog.

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