Two days ago, Friday 22 July, Norway was hit by a tragic series of events. At around 15.26 a bomb exploded in front of the government´s building in central Oslo. I work in a building nearby and heard the explosion, and felt the building shaking. Few hours later, a man started shooting young people at the Labour party´s summer camp, on the island Utøya.
I would like to share some words on what I experienced. Shortly after the explosion, the alarm in my building went off, we all ran outside. We did not understand what had happened, but several thought it was a bomb. We saw many windows that had blown out. People talked about wounded people and we saw smoke. I was horrified and sad, with lots of thoughts running through my head. What if I had went out that afternoon to buy a cup of tea? What If I had left work early that day, around 15.30, going out the main entrance? The windows near the entrance of the building, where I walk every day, were all broken.
As I came home and turned on the television, I felt paralysed and scared. The news of shooting at the Labour party´s summer camp made me feel like a glass broke inside of me. In this very tragic situatio, my daily meditation felt particularly meaningful. There were lots of thoughts in my head, some of them horrifying. I was imagining the series of events that had taken place, seing injured people and people running for there lives, fearing, hiding away and being killed. All these thoughts after a while gave space to sleep, before I woke up and felt strong tensions in my back and neck.
The day after was even sader, with the news that 85 people were killed at Utøya. Meditating will not change what happened, it will not make the events less sad. But my experience is that meditation brings me more in contact with my own sadness and feelings. They can come very strongly during the meditation and also afterwards. But it feels like the repetition of the sound gives me some kind of comfort, and that the meditation helps me work through some of the psychological residues from the last couple of days.
When such terrible events take place, I feel it is important to spend time with friends and family, but also have time for silence and reflection. Time for taking in what has happened, and mourn, for example by visiting the centre of Oslo and lay down flowers or light a candle.