Meditation – and a one, and a two…

A brief detour into meditation. So with all the research about mindfulness telling us it can reduce depression, increase concentration, and improve health, I am sure this can help me so I’m giving it a go, but starting small. When I wake up, I stay in bed and just count breaths until I max out. I tried without the counting but then my brain would go all over the place – snacks I regret eating before bed, what errands need doing tomorrow, Beyonce….

Nothing against Beyonce, but she has no relevance in my life, and is just the type of irrelevant thought that occurs then.

With the counting I still get useless thoughts in there but I have to rein them in to come back to the count. The idea is that you acknowledge thoughts, itches, the neighbor’s lawn mower, and move on, always coming back to your breath. I should note this is not advanced; it’s like meditation for kindergarteners.

Stone, fire, air, and water combine at Dan Hinkley’s Windcliff garden in Indianola, WA Image: Erica B. Grivas

 In today’s episode the cosmos sent our cat, Izzy, to me as a metaphysical challenge.

A little about her: Izzy is 12 years old, weighs about 12.5 pounds, so when she sits on you it’s like wearing a hot, furry bowling ball.

She has never had a meow. When she tries to meow it sounds like the death rattle of a punctured rubber ducky – eep! Perhaps because of her inability to communicate this way, she has learned others to make her wishes audible, like licking her empty metal food bowl with all the power her tiny tongue can muster, so it jangles loudly against the legs of its stupid cat-shaped feeder painted with tabby stripes. Ba-donkety-DONK –donk –DONK.  She wheezes and snores all the time, and her purr is incredibly loud. You can literally hear her sleeping three rooms away.

In fact the whole reason I was awake at 5:21 a.m. was because she was doing the badonketydonk thing. I got up, perched the feeder up on a tall bookshelf and went back to bed.

Then my thoughts went like this: One: in, out. The heat pipes sound like marbles being rolled in a giant can. Two: in, Izzy is on my chest. Out, God she’s loud. Am I on three? Damn. OK whatever. Three.

It goes to show how passive I am, and how much I need this meditation exercise, that I just let the cat decide when to move. She finally scoots down to my shins, which makes the motor sound shift down to a distant rumble, like thunder approaching, but a thousand times closer – and just as unavoidable.

I ‘m proud to say I got to ten breaths – a personal record – and then she farted.

Izzy is a meditation master
Izzy is a meditation master

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