A Practical Guide to Meditating Poorly

Meditation is the art of self-loathing. To call what I’ve been doing a practice is an insult to all the strange calm people around me with those weird carpenter’s holsters around their necks. I would run if I didn’t think Buddha would strike me down in no time flat. The guy up front told me that whatever I do for the next 20 minutes is perfect. I’ve been ensconced in a perfect shroud of clamminess ever since, dutifully playing a mental highlight reel of all the ways I can screw up meditating.

But I keep trying! When I sit there with my own thoughts for 20 entire minutes at the meditation center, I learn a lot about myself. None of it is really positive. I essentially confront the sheer, unbending specter of my insanity. I realize why old ladies stare at me with unbridled pity pocking their leathery faces. I see why women try to change me. I experience just how unpleasant a place my mind can be.

I have a lot of thoughts, and most of them are crazy. They come and go. I always try to watch them float away as suggested, but my thoughts are like rusty boomerangs covered with nails and vultures. They ease away briefly, only to roar back at me, screeching profane verses from the bible of Britney Spears.

It occurs to me that I’m doing this to be a better person, to be more available to and compassionate toward my fellow humans. I could’ve been productive tonight but I was meditating and I couldn’t get up without invoking the vengeance of a spiteful fat deity, that coy dirty smile just the subterfuge he needs to torture me with my own thoughts. I might get some clarity from this and save the world or invent a new species of bacon. All I can think about is the cookie store around the corner. End, you damn thoughts, and I will celebrate your fizzling demise with a giant cookie! I want a damn cookie!

The bell rings mellifluously, signaling my cookie is imminent. I silently judge the various states of bliss of those around me and march off into the frigid San Francisco evening, one step closer to god and diabetes.

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