Do us a favor: Close your eyes and breathe, in through your nose, out through your mouth. Picture yourself driving south, away from Denver and through the suburbs, turning off South Santa Fe Drive onto a winding road that places you, suddenly, in the middle of private ranch country. The grass around you is yellowed with sun—that is, until you make a slight left onto a dirt road, round a bend, and arrive at an enormous, chlorophyll green field that’s typically used for the Denver Polo Club’s summer practice sessions. At first, the only sound you hear is the rev of your car’s motor, out of place in such a serene setting. As you get closer, though, the din of voices becomes louder, and you see a massive throng of people. The crowd’s energy is both palpable and muted, the kind of low-key buzz that infuses the air when you know you’re about to be part of something big.
Or at least, that’s what local meditation guide Michael-Blu hopes will happen this Sunday evening at the first annual Mile High Global Meditation, during which he aims to set a Guinness World Record for largest meditative gathering. He’s not allowed to release the exact number of people needed in order for the event to be listed in the record books, but it’s in the hundreds. “We have to have a substantial amount of people there because [Guinness World Records] is attaching their name to it,” Michael-Blu says. “But we want the record to be set at a high amount so we can hold it for a while. It’s pretty amazing that Colorado gets the chance to do this.”
So far, there’s only one meditation-related Guinness World Record, awarded to Deepak Chopra‘s Chopra Center for the largest online meditation, which involved 33,061 people. (A Mexican school does hold the record for largest mindfulness lesson.) That’s probably because meditation is so difficult to quantify; it’s not like your brain activity has to reach a certain wavelength in order for you to attain enlightenment. The concept of Guinness World Records is built on exact measurements, which is likely why the organization denied Michael-Blu three times before he finally convinced staffers to consider his attempt.
Despite its subjectivity, group meditation has been shown to have positive effects not just on individual stress levels, but it also correlates to decreases in crime and terrorism. “[It’s] such a powerful tool to raise collective energy and awareness to challenges not just here but around the world in general,” says Shoebox Moses, aka Sammy T, a prominent Denver-based DJ who’s involved in Mile High Global Meditation.
To attract as many people as possible to this good-vibes-only gathering, Michael-Blu is offering top-notch perks, as well as building in a charitable component. Each participant will receive a cup of Teakoe tea to sip on, a practice that Michael-Blu also employs during his popular Airbnb Experience meditations. (Airbnb now allows guests to book activities with local experts alongside lodging.) The emcee for the night will be Brandi Shigley, a local entrepreneur and speaker. Shoebox Moses will be spinning tunes, including “That’s Why I Am Here,” written by Las Vegas singer Michelle Rohl. In conjunction with the event, 50 percent of all downloads of that song will go to the Foundlings, a nonprofit Shoebox Moses co-founded that tries to enhance the lives of Filipino orphans through arts and entrepreneurship education programs. A portion of the $10 registration fee will benefit the Foundlings as well. (If you’ve got really deep pockets, you can spend $500 on a VIP ticket that comes with extra swag and access to a private afterparty.)
Think about all that when you’re sitting in that manicured field, sensing the temperature drop as the nearly full moon rises, focusing on nothing but your breath, the natural setting, and the fact that your relaxation session will support a good cause. We can’t think of a better way to banish the Sunday scaries.
If you go: The first annual Mile High Meditation takes place on Sunday, September 23 at 5 p.m.; 6359 Airport Rd., Sedalia. Tickets are $10.
[Editor’s note: A previous caption incorrectly listed Sarah Westwood as the designer of the poster for the Mile High Global Meditation event. The designer is Lynn Nguyen. We have updated the story to reflect that change.]