Ammo Grrrll has a MEDITATION ON MEDITATING. She writes:
Well, New Year’s has come around again in a startlingly short time. About the time I get used to writing 2016 on my checks, it’s time to get it wrong again for a few weeks.
So it’s time for some resolutions for self-improvement. Jews also get Rosh Hashanah (literally, the head of the year) in September or October or whenever it feels like appearing, so we get two bites at the apple of self-improvement. You’d think with all that self-improvement, that we would be better voters, but smarter people than me have tried to explain why so many Jews cling to left-wing Democrats like barnacles to a sunken ship, so I won’t even try.
I told Mr. AG that I have been reading in numerous sources about how beneficial it is to meditate. I am probably going to resolve to incorporate 10-15 minutes a day of meditation into my busy day of shooting, buying ammo, Sudoku, Candy Crush, thinking about writing a column, almost writing a column any minute now, and urgently alphabetizing my spices again to avoid writing a column.
We also discussed that I have tried meditating many times in the past and am very very bad at it, to which he replied, “Well, why don’t you just stop, then?
“Yes, and also stop reading about why you should do it.”
This is the Platinum Level of sarcasm that is attained when someone has known you since you were 19.
There are many varieties of meditation, some involving endlessly repeating a comforting word called a “mantra.” I learned last time I tried this that the word should not be “Boring!” You should pick a pretty word like “Shalom” (peace), and, if you wish to focus on the word and not on your physical needs, it should also probably not be “chocolate.”
My friend Mike says that rather than say a “word” one should try to think of nothing at all. I believe that I could achieve that since I often attain that state when trying to think of the name of a person walking toward me whom I have met numerous times. Sublime nothingness, sawdust in the old noggin.
A perfectly blank mind also kicks in when trying to think even of a TOPIC for a new column, let alone sentences to fill it out. So if achieving a state of thinking “nothing” is healthy for you, I could set new records for healthiness. The Column Fairy does not come any more frequently than the Dish Fairy. Plus I have come to believe that Victor Davis Hanson has been doing a Vulcan Mind Meld and stealing my ideas. To add insult to injury, he then churns out much more elegant and erudite columns with these ideas than I could in ten lifetimes.
But back to meditating. (See how easily distracted I become?) Once in a women’s conference, I got dragooned into a group “Guided Meditation” where I was told that I have a “monkey mind.” I don’t know why the guide would say such a mean, shaming thing just because I wandered off in the middle to get a banana. If your mind strays, you are supposed to “gently” bring your mind back to your mantra and focus on it. Do not scold your mind or shame it by yelling at your mind, “You blithering idiot. Can you not concentrate for even two minutes? What a loser you are!”
This is not only bad because it makes your mind feel bad, but it can also lead you to wonder exactly “who” is “talking” to “whom” in that situation. Call me Sybil.
Anyway, the Guided Meditation in the women’s seminar was the longest 10 minutes of my life until I went to Physical Therapy last summer and had to do wretched, painful exercises while the egg timer was running. I think I finally understood Einstein’s Theory of Relativity for Dummies as he explained it (or maybe didn’t, as nothing in writing can be found though many variations of this quote have been attributed to him): “When you sit with a pretty girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”
OK, first of all, I defy ANYONE to sit on a hot stove for a whole minute, but I get the drift. And, yeah, I know, who am I to question Mr. Einstein when he and I are rarely mentioned in the same breath unless someone points out that we both tend to have bad hair days when being photographed?
But back to that Guided Meditation right after I get another banana.
Here are my thoughts as best I recollect: Shalom. Shalom. Shalom. Peace. Peace. Boy, I wish I had a piece of that pecan pie in my fridge right now. Remember in Michener’s book on Texas that some early settlers had nothing to eat but pecans? Wow. Harsh. Michener is so good. Paid his researchers a small fortune. Bob Hope paid his writers a million dollars a year. But I’ve read he was not a very nice guy. Good to our soldiers though. Lived to 100. Is it true that only the good die young? Why would that be?
Oh, crap, gently bring your mind back. Peace. Peace. Peace. Would that woman notice if I opened my eyes to look at the clock? Maybe just one eye. Surely, that can’t be right. A minute? Are you kidding me? I wish I had gone to the bathroom before this started. Shalom. Shalom. Shalom.
And so on. A Happy, Blessed, Healthy, Prosperous 2017 to you and yours. Shalom.