Squirrel in a Box
I had assumed the position of classic mediation sitting legs crossed. I couldn’t decide if the right foot should be over the left foot or the other way around. I tried both ways and decided that since the right side of my body always got to do everything that I should put left over right. It seemed more eastern to honor the weaker side in hopes of giving it confidence.
I did the inverted “okay” sign with my forefinger and thumb. I never did understand the significance of that. Perhaps that would be the first thing revealed during my enlightenment. I sat quietly. I thought about how well I was doing with my New Year’s goal-setting. This was day three of ten minutes of meditation.
Hold on! I was supposed to turn my mind off and think of nothing—absolutely nothing. I concentrated on my breathing. In out, in out, in out. I wonder what interesting things are on Pinterest today.
Hold on! I concentrated on putting an invisible screen up blocking off my brain. In out, in out. My brain threw a tantrum. She kicked her feet and pounded the floor.
“I really can’t concentrate when you’re doing that,” I told her.
I thought of the ocean, the Oregon coast specifically because I liked it there. Waves in and out, in out. I would like to go there again.
“Be quiet,” I told my brain. In out, in out. I’d like to go back and visit with my cousins and maybe go crabbing.
Hold on! Breathe in an out. I put my brain behind an invisible door. She pulled on the door handle, putting her feet on the door and pulling like in those cartoons when a character tries to get a door open.
“Just stop it!” I said.
She sat down and wept.
“Stop that! Really you can’t give me ten minutes of peace?”
She rushed the door and crashed through. I needed to concentrate to keep the invisible door with the invisible wall up and my brain had distracted me with her weeping.
She dashed at me, grabbed my knees and threw me to the ground like we were wrestling. That reminded me of The World According to Garp. He was a wrestler. My brain and I scrambled until I had her pinned to the floor.
“Stop it! I’m supposed to be meditating not engaging in violence. I’m sure that’s not how you’re supposed to be tapping into the good vibe of the universe, seeking enlightenment and serenity.”
We were both worn out. We lay on our backs. “Maybe we could practice the Corpse Pose?” my brain said. “I mean yoga is a close relation to meditation.”
I sighed. “I have a headache.”
“Let’s go have a cookie. That always makes you feel better. We have those sugar cookies we made last night,” my brain said.
“I can’t believe those cookie cutter goats ended up looking more like sheep,” I said.
“Well, if you would have followed the directions and put less butter so the dough was stiffer it might have turned out better,” my brain said.
“Well, if you were staying in the ‘now’ of the moment and concentrated on paying attention that wouldn’t have happened. You were too busy thinking of Downton Abbey and why the Earl put all his money into Canadian railway stocks and then lost it. Everyone knows you should diversify,” I retorted. “I thought I had it under control,” my brain said, evidently chastised. “Are we done meditating for today? I’m bored. Besides there’s always tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be better.”
“Promise?” I said.
“Sure, well, maybe, there’s always aspiration. I wonder what the world would be like if there were no North America? We should check that What If? book. Maybe it’s in there.”
“Oh my God, you’re terrible. I’m never going to learn to meditate.”
“Whatever. Let’s get a cookie.”
Coming in February!