Monday, January 14, 2008

Do you know how hard it is to meditate with this douchebag in your ear?

This is a microcosm for what I can expect in 2008.

Let me explain. A few years ago I was going through a rough patch and my doctor, knowing I don't trust any drugs not sold out of the front seat of a VW microbus, suggested I try meditation. I said, "Yeah, yeah." Fucking hippie.

Then I ran into a friend while I was doing the least zen thing in the world - buying a 40" flat screen Sony. He overlooked my crass materialism and gave meditation his whole-hearted endorsement.

So I got a book. I read the instructions, and this morning I sat on the floor and gave it a try. I'm supposed to breathe in, count one, breathe out and count two. Breathe in and count three. This should continue until I reach ten. But if there's a random thought that pulls you out of your concentration, you start over at one.

How'd I do? I never made it past two. I had little fragments of crap poking into my bliss almost every second, the worst being when Jenny turned on the TV in the other room and I had Pat Buchanan pissing all over my chi.

I asked her to mute the bastard, and she did, but I wasn't any more successful. Finally, I gave up.

Tonight I'll try again. Nothing worth while is easy, and there's no such thing as instant enlightenment. Except for those things they used to sell out of the front seat of a VW microbus.

But that's another story.

Yes, I think this morning was a fine metaphor for the new year. Politicians nattering in my ear as I try to find a little goddamn inner peace.

Any suggestions? Have any of you tried this? Have any of you been successful? Help me out here.


pattinase (abbott) said...

There are some CDs you can buy. Sometimes it helps to have another person saying breathe in, breathe out, but on the whole drugs work better for me. I have a drawer full of DVDs and cassettes. I've also bought electronic stuff that made me worry more. The kind of people who are good at this, don't need it. And I think writers and worriers are very bad at it cause you construct plots or...worry.

Karen Olson said...

I play computer mahjong. It spaces me out for a little while and my mind is clear except for trying to find matches to the tiles. I don't stress about it, it's methodical.

We've got a yoga DVD hanging around here once but I found out that I'm not flexible. And the woman's "soothing" tone was like fingernails on a blackboard.

Jeff Shelby said...

I cannot tell you hard I laughed at you not getting past two. Nearly rolled out of my chair.

Tonight, if you still can't get past two because someone is giggling in the distance - that'll be me.

David Terrenoire said...


The only reason I grapple with inner tranquility is for your amusement.

I'm glad it's working.

JD Rhoades said...

This is part of the reason I've started singing again. Once you know the song by heart, everything goes out of your head except maybe "am I gonna make the high note on 'Into the Mystic' this time?"

Daniel Hatadi said...

A teacher is the best way to start.

I've always been interested in meditation and had never put much effort into it on my own. But at my last job they offered a lunch time meditation course by a yoga teacher and every lunch left me blissed out. Relaxed, yet still alert. If I'd stuck with it, I think I would have become good enough to do it on my own. Meditation is a skill, not something you're born with, so it has to be learned and refined. Don't expect it to stop the 'monkey mind' after only a couple of sittings.

Also, the other good thing about having a teacher is that you can try different methods until you find one that works for you. Counting may not work as well as visualisation or meditating on compassion or some other concept.

Then again, half an hour of slide guitar works wonders for me.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

Damnifino. I can't even get a good night's sleep.


here today, gone tomorrow said...

"Monkey mind" is very strong. Stick with it, just like any exercise, and you'll get "better". (Not that that's the point, but you know what I mean.) The strength of all that background chatter can and will diminish.