Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mindfulness: you're doing it wrong. (pt. 2)

Close your eyes. Sit up straight but somehow relaxed at the same time. Notice that these are opposites. Settle for something in between cat-like readiness and a withered lotus.

Feel the passing of air over your skin.
This is pretty cool. You can actually feel the air. You are a collection of atoms surrounded by other atoms.
Don't dwell on this though.

Now focus on your breath. Feel how it comes in through your nose and then fills you up like a participant in the climactic scene of a slash fic. No. Don't dwell on this either and don't chuckle to yourself. Start over. Attempt reverence.

Listen to the low raspy sound at the back of your throat as your breath leaves your body. Remember the yoga instructor who said it's supposed to sound like the ocean. Does it sound like the ocean? Try to imagine what an ocean sounds like. Too many variables. What's the weather like? Are there animals involved? Like whales? Try to imagine the sound of a blowhole. Chuckle at the word 'blowhole', because you are five.

Feel your eye twitching. Somehow you can't keep it closed while also relaxing your face. Roll your eyes in several directions behind your closed eyelids to assess the effect. Better. This shouldn't be taking up all your attention though. What the fuck is wrong with you?

This isn't going very well. Randomly remember that thing they say about how it takes 10,000 hours to become good at something. Is this something like that? Sneakily try to break off a part of your mind à la Kvothe from 'The Name of the Wind' so you can use it to calculate how many years it would take you to become good at meditating, while still meditating on the side. Once again face the fact that you can't even do multiplications when you are allowed to use your whole mind for them. Once again be amazed that your job involves handling other people's money all day. It would be a depressingly long time, in any case. And besides, you're not supposed to be thinking about this now.

You're supposed to focus on your breathing. Feel how your body moves as you breathe.
"Your breath is your anchor", right? That's what the lady said. You can always return to the breath. Congratulate yourself on remembering that. You are already ahead of the game. You are knocking this out of the park. Then remember that you aren't supposed to be judging, even if it is to give yourself a pat on the back. You're just supposed to notice that you are thinking and then stop. How do you "just stop" thinking?

Try very hard to think of nothing. Instantly think of a purple cow. Try very hard to stop thinking of a purple cow. Didn't you learn in psych class that that is impossible? You can't fight the mental cows. All you are doing is making them more powerful, like in that one horror movie about sheep that your boyfriend keeps trying to get you to watch, only with cows instead of sheep. STOP THINKING ABOUT COWS ASSHOLE!

Remember that you are supposed to practice kindness. Shit, you are doing this wrong. No judging though. But it's still wrong. If it's not too much to ask, would you find it in the kindness of your heart to stop thinking about cows? Why won't you consider the cows? No. Why won't you consider the cows by not considering the cows. Please.

Suddenly realize how there are almost no zombie movies where animals besides humans are affected. Wonder why that is. Make a mental list and compare the ones that take the "virus" approach versus the "curse" approach. This doesn't seem to be the thing that makes the difference though. There are zombie dogs in 'Resident Evil' but also in 'Rec 3'. But then again, 'Rec 3' wasn't canon.
Try to remember what the thing was about Will Smith's dog. There was something about the dog. Was he a zombie? Give up on trying to remember. That movie was crap anyway. Instead, consider how the possibility of zombie animals would affect your established approach to the apocalypse. Not many animals around here, but the cats would definitely become a problem. What about bugs, though? And all those invisible spiders that are inside the walls? Realize most bugs already behave like zombies anyway. Zombie bugs would definitely have a huge impact on the rules of the game though, which is probably why they are never addressed. No doubt you'd only survive if you had access to a space suit. Or a beekeeper suit!

Remember there is that one guy on the outskirts of your social circle who you recently heard about that he was now keeping bees. Sadly this is also the guy who once dropped a jar of hummus in front of his fridge and then just left it there until it became the breeding ground for green hairy fungus that he kept shaving the top off every time he opened his fridge. For months. Hell, if there ever was a zombie virus that guy's kitchen would probably be ground zero. Wouldn't want to be inside his beekeeper suit. Ooh, radiation suits! See, you knew there was another one.

Oh shit, you were supposed to be meditating. No sweat though, you've caught yourself. Remember that if you catch yourself thinking, you can always mentally label what you are doing and use the words "thinking" or "planning" or "judging". See? It's easy.

"Rememberjudging. Judgemembering. Judgethinkmembering."

"Making up words."



"Labeling labeling labeling."



"Doubting." --- Ooh, that's a good one!





Oh goodie, time's up!

You feel better already.

Original image by whinger, link in meta tag
Apparently, zombie cows? Totally a thing you guys!


  1. This is me every time I can't fall asleep :D
    Eventually I realised that focusing on one subject is more effective than not focusing on any, because that just makes my thought process jittery. :)

    1. I've been trying that, too, recently. I guess my breath is just too boring to hold my attention.

  2. Brilliant, this is exactly what happens to me when I try to relax, Ive tried to tell my other half is don't know how to relax, he says 'just, you know, relax'.

    1. Mine is exactly like that. I think he may be related to the Dalai Lama.