Updated: Sep 24, 2019
While I was visiting London, I wanted find a quiet corner somewhere in Westminster Abbey to meditate, to see if I could feel the energy of the space, the building, the history. When I arrived at the Abbey, the place was packed with tourists. In 2018 approximately 1.5 million people visited the Abbey, so I shouldn't have been surprised at the crowds. I figured that finding a quiet place was going to be impossible, so I grabbed my guidebook and joined the tourists.
I checked out the the final resting places of such greats as Professor Stephen Hawking, Sir Isaac Newton, the Tombs of medieval kings and queens, the Lady Chapel and so on. It's really an amazing place.
When I reached Poets' Corner, I noticed that in the guidebook, there was a mention of a door, and through this door was St. Faith's Chapel. It wasn't clearly marked on the map, so it was easy to miss. The guidebook said that anyone was welcome to go in St. Faith's Chapel to pray.
I go through the door, and there's no one else in the chapel. Hallelujah - a quiet place!
I pick one of the seats and hunker down for a meditation. A few minutes in, I was aware of the sound of a vacuum cleaner. I thought "it's okay, it won't last long, who's vacuuming in the middle of the day when the building is full of tourists." But I was wrong. The vacuum seemed to go on and on, so I accepted the noise, and eventually tuned it out.
At one point, I heard the Chapel door open. I opened my eyes and saw that it was an Abbey employee popping his head in to possibly see what I was doing. I opened my eyes, and gave him a smile trying to say "it's okay, i'm just praying." The employee left and went back into meditation. Then I hear the vacuum cleaner start up again, and once again accepted and tuned it out.
Eventually, I came out of meditation and it was quiet - no vacuum cleaner to be heard. I sat there for a while consciously enjoying this amazing, still place, all to myself. I was aware that the room was surrounded by lots of people, a lot of energy and a ton of history.
Just before leaving the Abbey, out of curiosity, I looked at the map to see where someone could be vacuuming - and of course - I couldn't find anything that made sense. I wandered all around St. Faiths Chapel. It was completely surrounded with other rooms with stone floors, and all of the rooms were filled with tourists.
I can't explain this experience, so if someone knows of a secret chamber with dirty (now clean) carpets somewhere in the Abbey, please let me know.