My friend Muffy asked me:
How can I start meditating?
This is what I told her:
Thank you for asking me about meditation
And how to get started.
I have been meditating for awhile now
Like maybe fourteen years?
Pretty long relative to my life.
Pretty short relative to how long this meditation thing has been around.
Some people think it’s hard.
It’s not hard.
It involves two lungs.
Or if you only have one lung, that will do.
You don’t have to go to the top of a mountain, or hide in a cave, or move to a monastery.
You don’t have to believe anything.
You can believe everything.
Mostly you just sit and breathe.
You don’t need a magic word or sound.
It’s okay if thoughts come in.
Just say, “Hello thought! Goodbye thought!”
Sort of like in Go Dog Go!
When one dog asks the other if he likes her hat
And he confesses that no, he does not like her hat
And she says goodbye
And he says goodbye
Then off they go.
Same with thoughts.
Hello thought! Goodbye thought!
I started out doing like one minute at a time
Back when I did Taekwondo
One minute of sitting still
That was a challenge
Just not easy breezy
There is nothing I can really teach you
I can give you permission if you want
Let’s try that
Even though you don’t really need my permission
Still, it can help if someone says:
You can do it.
You can do it!
(Not on someone’s face probably)
Read this next part first and then close your eyes:
In a moment you will close your eyes
You will breathe in once
You will breathe out once
You will open your eyes.
Ready? When I say go
Close your eyes
This is really it this time.
(Muffy closes her eyes.
She breathes in.
She breathes out.
She opens her eyes.)
Folks, we have a winner!
Muffy just meditated.
See—that wasn’t hard!
Now go out and play.
Tomorrow we will talk about building an altar
For fun and inspiration
Then we will move onto how meditation is like knitting
Soon there will be guided meditations
Where I help you think of shit
And then I help you forget it
This is so cool!
Thanks for asking Muffy.
*Sometimes we meditators say metta instead of or in addition to love
metta means loving kindness. Being from New Jersey, I have mixed feelings about using the lingo, like maybe it’ll look like I’m showing off. You can try saying metta
and if that feels weird, don’t worry about it.