Now & Zen


I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. (Psalm 119:15)

I tried meditating a couple of times, mostly because I wanted to be a Christian and cool at the same time. That’s the problem with most religions; it’s so hard to be cool at it, especially with a religion like Christianity where you have to be humble and junk like that.

Anyway, I came across this India Indian meditation guy in an Oprah magazine and thought I would give it a shot. I don’t want you to think I’m into Oprah or anything, but her magazine was on the floor at a rest stop toilet in Montana and I picked it up before I had a chance to think about germs. By then I was committed and figured I might as well read it since I was going to be there for a while, and I’m not exactly into conversations in public restrooms, especially ones in the middle of Nowhere, Montana. Still, I definitely washed my hands afterwards. Three times. And after that I emptied half my bottle of Purell as an extra precaution. The last thing I wanted to deal with was some viral attraction to Oprah.

Anyway, this Indian guy was an expert in meditation which is sort of like church, except for the sermon and offering, which is, frankly, okay by me. He was a guru of some kind, which is what those experts in meditation like to call themselves. In the magazine he said that to meditate a person had to slow down his breathing and focus on chalk. That was a little weird, I thought, but, hey, why not give it a shot?  So after I got home (I left the magazine at the rest stop for sure) I decided to try the whole meditation thing for myself. I stuck it in between some regular Christian devotional stuff just to be safe from unwanted eastern influences.

I found an old bathrobe and put it on as part of the relaxation thing. It was sort of pinkish and had some holes in it, but I figured it would be okay for the first try. Then I sat on the floor and crossed my legs like you’re suppose to. I concentrated on slowing my breathing until I almost passed out, which was kind of spiritual in itself. After that I thought of chalk for as long as I could. Now, according to the Indian guy, I was supposed to experience nirvana or something, but since I’d never had a nirvana moment I didn’t know if I got it or not.

Well, that was pretty much it since my legs started hurting and I kind of liked breathing normally. I threw that ratty robe away, mostly because I felt like a sissy wearing it. I racked up the meditating thing as one of those things and went back to plain old Christian devotions. They’re totally boring, but I’ve never expected much of them anyway, so it’s okay. Besides, I don’t have to do the leg crossing thing, which is a huge benefit of Western Christianity.

Since then I haven’t tried meditating even once, unless you count the time I was at the dentist inhaling nitrous oxide.  I actually did have some visions then, but the dentist had his arms jammed in my mouth which sort of took the spiritual vibe out of it.


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