People are all the same…

August 16, 2011

The Cheers theme song has been playing in my head today ever since meeting a podcast listener while doing my grocery shopping today.

“You wanna go where people know, people are all the same, You wanna go where everybody knows your name.”

When you have an online presence, or people hear your voice on a podcast or CD, they can imagine all sorts of things about you. The person I met today thought of me as a “celebrity”, “movie star of the meditation set”, someone larger than life. I’m sure that that all changed in our meeting! It was the most delightful, funny coming together of two people, and I wanted to share it with you.

I called out hello to Karen who studies hula with me. She said “Mary, do you have a minute? I have someone for you to meet.” I said I had a little minute, but it stretched out to many enjoyable minutes. I was introduced to Carol who has been listening to the podcast for over a year. She immediately held up her hands and said “Mary Maddux, I think of you as way up here, a movie start of meditation!” All three of us were soon laughing as Carol recounted how she had assumed I lived in New York or LA, and was amazed when Karen told her that I live in the same small town with her. Apparently yesterday, Karen spotted me walking on a local bike path and called Carol to say “You want to see Mary Maddux, move quickly — she’s walking on the bike path in pink!” Carol lamented that she was in another town and missed the great opportunity ;-). The whole situation was so heart-warming and fun, we were soon laughing and hugging near the checkout aisles. I suppose for Carol this was an unusual “celebrity sighting”, in which it was revealed that the celebrity was woman much like herself. Hence the “people are all the same” line going in my mind.

It just so happens that tomorrow is our local guided meditation, and they will both join us. It feels like a coming full circle. My journey with teaching meditation and leading guided meditations was an “in-person” on for years. Reaching people through our podcast, CDs and apps has been an amazing and wonderful experience, but sometimes I miss the in-person part. This will be the second podcast listener to join our monthly meditation. At a time when our reach is growing so much that I have to cut back on answering emails, Facebook comments and so on, it’s wonderful to have this personal contact. It’s wonderful to be in a “place where everybody knows your name”.


18 Responses to “People are all the same…”

  1. Alexis Bartlo on August 16th, 2011 6:29 pm

    Hi Mary – I too thought you were located ‘somewhere else’ until I stumbled upon a reference to your town somewhere on your website.
    My college roomy and her husband live in SF, with a wknd home in Kenwood. I live in Woodside (on the Peninsula), but frequently go up to visit, as we all love it there so much. And now I can’t imagine you anywhere else! Synchronicity strikes yet again :)
    Also, your voice is so youthful that I first thought the picture of the Meditation Girl was you! But after seeing your picture, I think that you are even more beautifully serene than she is.
    At any rate, the important thing is that you have my deepest gratitude for your podcasts, which I listen to almost daily, and your generous spirit. You have guided me out of some quite anxious, fearful, low-energy, and/or negative spaces. You’ve also reinforced me during calm, loving, compassionate times, as well. Richard’s musical enhancements are also quite beautiful and much-appreciated.
    Thank-you for all you do.

  2. marlene alves on August 16th, 2011 6:40 pm

    Mary, I’m delighted to have shared in this great story which Carol emailed me about as soon as she could…she was so thrilled to relate this very special meeting!

    Now she sent me the link to your blog & I see even MORE of the picture…oh, yes, CHEERS for the Cheers theme song…how perfect!



  3. NANCY on August 16th, 2011 9:22 pm


  4. SUSAN wALE on August 16th, 2011 9:54 pm

    I listen to your meditations every single night and sometimes during the day. I have them in my I touch and they have helped me immensely, Thank you so much, I live in Canada, Vancouver and wish that there was a group like yours close to me.

  5. Mary on August 17th, 2011 10:47 am

    You are welcome, Alexis, and thank you for your kind words. We’re so pleased the meditations and music have been so helpful to you. With the internet, it is a small world, and yet it’s fun to discover we live in the same small corner of the world…

  6. Mary on August 17th, 2011 10:49 am

    Cheers to you, Marlene!

  7. Mary on August 17th, 2011 10:55 am

    You are so welcome, Susan. Why not start a group? One option would be to listen together to the meditations. Some other groups do that. Best wishes.

  8. Linda Douglass on August 17th, 2011 4:17 pm

    Hey Mary,
    Starting a group is a fantastic idea. I wonder if I could do that in my funny little town???
    I have relied on your voice quite often through a difficult time. Thankyou. X.

  9. denise on August 18th, 2011 9:56 am

    I can totally relate to Carol — I’ve dreamed about meeting you someday b/c I imagine how beautiful and moving it would be to be in your presence. I imagine you radiate such an incredible energy and glow about you that people want to flock to you like moths to light. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but it’s such a beautiful feeling to be around people who exude this light so naturally. I just want to be near them b/c it fills me with light and I take on their energy – like I do with your meditations.
    Mary, your beautiful voice and meditations have meant so much to me over the past 3 years. It continues to help me through some very dark and painful challenges that have been presented to me.
    I hope the love & light I’m sending your way envelopes you like a warm blanket on a chilly, grey, foggy wine country morning.
    With immense {gratitude}…

  10. Mary on August 18th, 2011 10:33 am

    Denise, thank you for your beautiful words and all the love and light (which I DO appreciate on this chilly, grey, foggy wine country morning). I must tell you that I myself am in awe of what seems to come through in my work. Believe me, if you knew me, you’d find I am a very ordinary person and I have my own challenging moments. The light you receive is simply the light you are discovering within yourself and the nature of life itself. It’s so moving to hear when someone has received so much from the meditations, and I thank you for sharing your experience.

  11. Yianni Mitropoulos on September 7th, 2011 6:09 am


    This interaction with Carol obviously meant a lot to you. That’s great, but just don’t get a big head.

    If you meet someone tomorrow and they tell you, “Honestly, I think your podcasts are complete rubbish.” How will you feel?

    Don’t become presumptuous, thinking you’re top; this will just give you something to defend.

    I should add that I personally love your podcasts.


  12. Matt Ovens on September 14th, 2011 2:14 pm

    Awesome post. Bookmarked.

    What’s the difference between meditation and yoga? I am always confused about the two terms. Is yoga just another form of meditation?

    Thanks – Matt

  13. Mary on September 14th, 2011 4:39 pm

    That’s a big question, Matt! I depends on the kind of meditation and yoga, but generally speaking yoga involves use of the body (and often breath and how you focus your attention), whereas meditation is usually a strictly mental process. If you define meditation in a broader way, however, there are moving meditations like Tai Chi and Chi Gung as well.

  14. Matt Ovens on September 26th, 2011 9:24 am

    Thanks Mary. That makes sense. When I see the poses either in the books or online, it’s hard to tell the difference. I guess there are some similarities mentally but yoga has movements.


  15. Jason Levy on October 11th, 2011 1:45 pm

    I have been a Buddhist for the last seven years. I just learned recently that the Masons began on the same premise. The assumed everyone had their own culture and religion. For the sake of community growth, they would all join together as Masons to improve their shared community. I guess that’s what you are doing Mary Maddux. I hope we all contribute to community growth.

  16. Mary on October 11th, 2011 2:10 pm

    This is a hope so many of us share, Jason. As human beings we have so much in common and certainly it would benefit all of us to work together for the common good. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  17. Sharon on November 17th, 2011 7:37 am

    I am a high school math teacher in Florida. I introduced my students to your podcasts and now they are constantly asking, “can we meditate today?” Obviously my lessons come first, but I squeeze them in whenever I can.

  18. Mary on November 17th, 2011 2:26 pm

    Sharon, how wonderful to give your students the opportunity to meditate! It does, of course, take time, but when we meditate, we are more clear and productive afterwards so it should help with the lessons. Also a couple of the meditations are short and may be easier to squeeze in. Best wishes to you and your students!

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