Tuesday, June 15

Meditation: Take-Two

Last Sunday, having selected my meditation room, I decided to finally give it whirl.

With meditation CDs in hand, I walked up to the attic, my faithful dog Snickers at my heels. Knowing Snickers would whimper outside the closed door, I let her in the attic and locked the door behind us. I sat down in my meditation zone, my back against a denim beanbag chair, a portable CD player on the floor in front of me.

Okay, I thought, here we go.

The CD started and I immediately let out a laugh. My meditation leader, Dr. Marty Rossman, sounded like Ben Stein. How on earth was I supposed to meditate with Ben Stein leading me? All I could think of was his line in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,    “Beuller? Beuller? Bueller?”

My giggles finally subsided and I tried to focus on what Ben was saying, which is exactly the moment Snickers started to whine. The sleeper sofa bed was covered in extra pillows, crumpled blankets, and toys, preventing her entry onto it. Her chin resting on the edge of the bed, her eyes darted at me, pleading me to help her. “Okay, okay,” I said, “I’ll move the pillows, but then you have to shush. Mommy’s trying to meditate.”

She eagerly jumped up on the bed, circling a few times before deciding to plunk down on the beanbag chair instead. Her head resting on the denim, she settled in behind me. Apparently she needed a better vantage point for meditation viewing.

Repositioning myself back on the floor, I focused on Ben’s voice. Three deep breaths later, the household intercom blared in the background. My son Grant’s garbled voice screeched through the air, blasting through my meditation instructions. Oh for the love of God, I thought, as Grant screamed into the intercom again, sounding like a police officer with a bullhorn.

Finally, peace settled over the house, for a nanosecond, then the doorbell rang. Snickers bolted off the beanbag, raced to the locked attic door, and began barking. For such a chicken, Snickers sounds like an attack dog. I got up and happily let her run downstairs to mangle whomever was interrupting my meditation. Tear ‘em a new one, I thought to myself.

By the time I returned to my meditation spot, Ben was discussing the triggers of stress. I didn’t even have time to formulate a smart aleck retort before the phone rang and there was a knock on the attic door.

It was Michael. “What are you doing up here?” he asked.

“I’m trying to mediate,” I responded, a smirk on my face. The absurdity of the situation was not lost on me.

“Oh, you should’ve told me so I could keep everyone away from you,” was his helpful reply.

“I was by myself for two hours, with no interruptions. I figured I could sneak away for twenty minutes and no one would miss me. How do you people know the exact moment that I REALLY don’t want to be disturbed? Your timing’s amazing,” was my bewildered response.

Michael just shrugged his shoulders and Grant appeared at the base of the stairs.

“Phone’s for you Mom,” Grant said.

My oldest daughter Amanda wanted to go to the mall with her friends. After a quick consultation with Michael about whether that was appropriate for a 12-year-old, we decided to let her go.

At this point, I was a ten minutes into my meditation CD and standing in the doorway of the attic shooing my family away.

Taking a deep breath and leaning back against the beanbag chair, I restarted the CD. After the giggles about Ben’s voice subsided again, I followed his instructions.

Lying on the floor, I learned how to belly breathe. Slowly breathing in and out, I began to relax, and then, I kind of fell asleep. I snapped out of my trance twenty-three minutes later with Ben talking about some stairs. I think I was supposed to be imagining myself at the top of them. I wasn’t really sure since I’d missed the first part of his instructions, but I needed to get up. I was roasting chicken for dinner and I needed to get it in the oven.

As I entered the kitchen Michael asked, “So how was your meditation?”

“Well, it was certainly relaxing,” I said.

“Aren’t you supposed to reach some level of enlightenment?” he inquired.

“Yeah, that didn’t happen. I think I just took a power nap,” was my honest reply.

I’ll try it again. But this time while the kids are at school, Snickers is in the backyard and Michael is at the hardware store. 

Yup, that should do it. 

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