Meditation on Tram D

Ommm. Let’s meditate. The venue may be a bit unusual – we invite you to climb aboard the famous tram line D at the Vienna Main Station and join us for a 40-minute meditation trip around the city. Nothing could be more relaxing than to head out of the hurly-burly of the station hall, passing the city’s most beautiful sights on your way to the vineyards of Nussdorf to enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t forget to buy a ticket, otherwise this might be the most expensive meditation you ever experience ... but we digress: take your place in the D tram, close your eyes, take a deep breath and enter a new level of meditation.

Keep your eyes closed for the next five minutes (there’s not much to look at before the Belvedere Palace station anyway). Concentrate on the rhythmic rattling of the tram and allow yourself to sink into a trance. Then open your eyes at the Belvedere, the former residence of Prince Eugene. Conjure up the image of Klimt’s “Kiss” in your mind’s eye, focus on it and take three deep breaths, then close your eyes again once the bell rings and the tram sets off again. Relax and make yourself comfortable. Now it’s time for a few breathing exercises.

When you pass by Schwarzenbergplatz, lean to the left, in the direction of the tram, stretching your left side and opening your eyes slowly. Sit up straight again and complete ten minutes of “sightseeing contemplation”: the Vienna State Opera, the Hofburg, Burggarten, Volksgarten, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna, Parliament, City Hall, Burgtheater, University of Vienna, Votive Church and the old Stock Exchange will raise your spirits. They represent all the beautiful things in life. Let the images sink into your mind and take a deep breath at every one of these sights.

Now find your inner peace, as you turn from the bustling Ringstrasse into the coziness of Alsergrund. Anyone who needs to talk or work through what they have already experienced only has to hang on as far as the next tram stop (Schlickgasse). Just around the corner is the building where Sigmund Freud once had his consulting rooms. Today it’s a museum, mind you, but the spirit of Freud is sure to help solve your problems.

Otherwise you can let your thoughts slip by along with the historic buildings of the “Gründerzeit,” and the numerous restaurants and shops. Are you feeling relaxed? For the next twelve minutes, settle back into your seat and forget everything going on around you. Only the announcements of the next tram stops will reach through to your consciousness. No need to react to questions from fellow passengers such as, “Are you getting off?”. There is no evidence that anyone has ever traveled to the next station by mistake.

“Gunoldstrasse, change here (‘umsteigen’) for the 10A and 39A” – this announcement tells you when to come back out of your meditative state. Over the next three tram stops (up to Grinzinger Strasse) you will pass by a very special kind of temple – the temple of the proletariat, the Karl Marx Hof. This social housing building, opened in 1930, is about 1.1 kilometers long – use this part of the route to draw your mind out of meditation and back into your surroundings. Be aware of the space you are in and your fellow passengers, listen to the sounds around you. Take a few deep breaths (preferably through your mouth, as you can’t be too sure what your nose might sense) and signal to your body and mind that the meditation will come to an end after three more tram stops.

Look forward to complete relaxation in Nussdorf

Sit up straight and move your right hand gently upwards, so that the elbow is at right-angles to your shoulder. Let your hand already feel the glass of wine that is waiting for you in Nussdorf at Beethovengang (the last tram stop, on the edge of the heuriger district). Complete your meditation with a deep breath and a hearty cry of “Prost”! Now for some real relaxation.

Tram D

Departs: Alfred-Adler-Strasse

1100 Vienna

Mo-Su 05:05-00:30


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