Don’t you think it’s time for us to become peaceful, mindful and generally more awesome this year? Monk style? Here’s my formula for making that happen. I hope you find it useful.
Find a quiet place in your house. If you can’t find one, go to step #7.
Great, you found a quiet spot. Now sit comfortably, but not in a way that might cause you to fall asleep. If you’re like me, and almost always fall asleep when you’re comfortable, you should probably visit a physician because you’re either depressed or suffering from sleep apnea. Remember, meditation is supposed to be a mindful but active stillness and we’re not all cut-out for it.
Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Feel the air pass in…and…out of your nose. If something is flapping inside your nose, or there’s a slight whistling noise, let any judgement or feeling you have about it float away like a leaf in the wind. Now you’re convinced the flapping thing in your nose is a leaf. I’ve totally been there. You have to find a way to stop thinking about that. Now you’re chanting “Stop thinking about that” over and over in your mind. You might even be singing it to the tune of “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra (the lyric “Start spreadin’ the news” becomes, “Stop thinkin’ bout that”, right? RIGHT?). If so, there’s really no way to make it out of this. Give up for now and if you’re feeling particularly hopeless, go directly to step 7.
Awesome, you’re not trapped in the tautology of confusion and need caused by skipping to step 7. Now is the time to take what you learned while meditating and spend the rest of the day “living in the moment.” Remember, THERE IS NO OTHER TIME THAN THIS VERY MOMENT and now it’s gone, and now that one is gone too. MOMENTS ARE DYING FASTER THAN FRUIT FLIES AND IT’S HORRIFYING HOW POWERLESS WE ARE TO STOP IT. Ok, since this attempt is only causing you to obsess about the passage of time and your own impending mortality, you’re probably not ready to “Live in the moment.” Return to step 1.
Ok, let’s say you’re some undiscovered guru buddha dude with a perfect house in the woods and a nutty ability to stop thinking about huge leaves in your nose. Apparently, you can meditate without picking your nose, singing or falling asleep. Your mind is at peace, but alert. Now look around you and appreciate how beautiful the everything is or something…I don’t really know.
Since I’ve never come close to getting past step 1, this is foreign territory for me. Maybe you should paint or garden. Happy New Year to you, you strange perfect person.
Say, “Screw it, I’m just gonna eat.” If you’re on a diet, go to step 7a.
Buy a new house somewhere quieter. If you can’t afford a new house, return to step 7 and spend the rest of your life in an uncomfortable state of bouncing between your insatiable cravings for food and a quieter living space. If this is unappealing, go to step 8.
Return to step 1. ***
*** If you’re simply reading this for chuckles, and arrived here from step 1, go back to step 2. If you got here from step 3, return to step 4. I’m sorry, these are terrible instructions.