I’m trying to meditate and it’s not working. I was told this would make me feel peaceful. Instead I’m running entire movies in my head that all end with my kneecaps exploding. I also feel an overwhelming urge to catalog the entire plant world of Madagascar. This is not peaceful. What am I doing wrong?
Sincerely Sri BabaLemurama (formerly “Jim.”)
Yes, daily meditation brings calm into one’s life. But the act of meditating feels a lot like chicken pox. You only get the calming effect if you are able to marvel at the excruciating itch with out screaming your head off. You are considered “advanced” if you can do this for 30 minutes and then refrain from blogging about it.
Some say that meditation is “thinking about nothing.” But nothing is something. This is referred to as a “koan.” Koans are little word games designed by Zen Monks to make their student’s heads explode. This was how they had fun before the internet.
If you really want to develop a meditation practice in your life, I recommend starting with five minutes a day sitting on the couch without checking your messages. Simply count how many times you feel your butt clenching. And remember, the goal is not to detach from your phone. The goal is to know that you can’t detach from your phone. There. Don’t you feel more peaceful?
Dear Jethro The Answer Cat,
My fianceé and I are preparing for our upcoming wedding. Her mother insists that we do a traditional first dance at the reception. We’ve been practicing some dreadful thing called the “Fox Trot” while suffering through a crusty old song she loved back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. How do we tell her that we appreciate her enthusiasm for our wedding but that we really want to do it our own way?
Sincerely, Suffocated Son-In-Law
Dear Potential Eloper,
How about this: “While we really appreciate your enthusiasm for our wedding, we really want to do it our own way.” No? Too simple? Need more drama?
There are many traditions to consider when planning a wedding. The very most important rituals are: 1. Squeal with gratitude when your parents offer to help with the wedding. You think this means they will pay for the exotic petting zoo and hot air balloon dove release. 2. Throw up just a little when you discovered that means they own you. 3. Plot to kill them. 4. Threaten to leave your fiancé. 5. Drink heavily before telling your parents you’ve decided to have the wedding at Hooters because they have happy-hour hot wings you can afford. 5. Compromise in theory but still invite your drug dealing roommate, bribe the DJ and twerk at the reception. Good luck but remember: The wedding is over in one night but the half-life of a mother-in-law’s anger is the same as plutonium.
even Banana Slugs.
I’m here to help. And you know you can trust me,
because I have an awesome soul-patch.
Submit questions for Jethro via his website: www.TheAnswerCat.blogspot.com.
This column will be posted there one week after its publication here in the absolutely awesome Culver City Crossroads.