Stop it. Stop breathing that way. In, out, in, out at a slow and even pace? How are you supposed to ruminate over your many sources of anxiety like that? For a breath to be truly meditative, it must be shallow; it must be panicked. That way, you won’t forget — and therefore grow more vulnerable to — the innumerable dangers lurking in your life.
Good, you flinched. It means you’re in touch with your inner coward.
Another thing: you’re crossing your legs wrong. Correct meditation requires one’s joints to be held at strained, unnatural angles for long stretches of time, no matter how searing the pain is. Did you really think enlightenment wasn’t supposed to wreck your knees? Prolonged physical distress is linked to good mental health. I learned that from a doctor who was selling paints at Home Depot. Well, technically the Home Depot parking lot. He also had firecrackers.
Let’s get into lotus pose. No, no, not like that. I can’t believe I’m having to explain this, but lotus flowers are tiny and pinkish — and they don’t wear jewelry.
Meditation is about accepting that plants aren’t people and never will be.
Time to check Twitter! Yes, you can check Twitter while meditating. In fact, you should. The news doesn’t stop just because you decide you want to sit quietly for twenty minutes. Which reminds me: you’re being too quiet. Meditators must constantly emit a sustained, high-pitched squeal, stopping only to take a few of those panicked breaths we covered earlier. The dizziness means it’s working.
Also, you said “Om” wrong when you started. It’s more of a long “Oh-m” sound, not a short “uh-m” one. I didn’t mention it right then, but I should have.
Why does your T-shirt say TRANQUILITY YOGA? Is that your local yoga studio or something? Listen. Yoga and meditation aren’t the same. The surgery you have to get for yoga is more invasive, for one, and meditation has less punching. Anyway, you should feel self-conscious about your wardrobe choice and add it to the list of worries you dwell on during meditation.
Actually, what am I saying? Take my T-shirt. It’s very sweaty, but don’t worry — it has ketchup stains. Just throw this on over the one you’re wearing. There. Now you look very cool. Looking cool is one of the most important parts of meditation. Now try chanting “turnt” a few times. “Turnt” is the coolest word right now.
I can teach you more chants if you buy me a hot lunch. Or cold. I would love either. See, grocery store cashiers keep wanting me to pay them for taking “their” food even though possession is a corrosive social construct. Maybe meditation would mellow them out so they don’t call the cops every time I walk in and take ham. As one of the Buddhas says, “Teach a man to steal ham and he’ll eat ham sandwiches every day, as long as he also snags bread.”
Earlier when I said it was good that you flinched, I was lying. It’s a huge red flag. Let me crash at your place for a few nights and I’ll teach you how to stop.
Keep up that shallow breathing. Good. Remember, the energy of all living things is interconnected. That means that every time you meditate poorly, it saps the life force from Andy Garcia. And he’s already 62! It’s a good thing I saw you when I did — you could’ve killed him otherwise.
You’re both welcome.
That’s better. Your gnawing feeling of anxious dread will soon give way to a numb feeling of anxious dread, and you’ll be one step closer to Nirvana. Nirvana is awesome! I’ve been there like six times. It’s basically Heaven, but everyone’s a centaur!
Let’s try a guided meditation. Picture yourself in a tranquil meadow, sitting on the banks of a babbling brook. Birds sing to one another as a cool breeze blows. As you sit, a feeling of calm washes over you. You begin to feel at peace — with the world, with yourself. Then you notice something in the meadow. It’s an ATM. You check your balance, which is $940. You withdraw it all and give it to me.
Your car too. You can achieve inner peace on foot.