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Okay. What does that even mean?

What does what mean?

Stop being cheeky. The title you drafted for this article.

You mean the title WE drafted?

Whatever.

What do you think the title means?

I’d have to . . . meditate on that.

Here’s a better question.

Not even a chuckle?

Why do you meditate?

Well, I get overwhelmingly depressed, and I get tremendously anxious. So, through meditation, I try to redirect my thinking from all the creative ways I’m imagining my own suicide.

And does it work?

Sometimes. Certainly not as often as I would like. How the hell can you quite a mind that’s telling you it’s a good idea to jump off a bridge over the interstate at night while wearing lit fireworks?

Fair enough. Now how do you meditate?

I hang upside down from my ceiling, naked, smothering myself in cool whip while quoting lines from The Princess Bride. What do you want from me?

I’m just saying that the meditating itself is far more important than the method you’re using to do all that meditating. Methods vary greatly. And absolutely nobody can seem to agree on which method is the best method. Have you any idea how many methods I’ve practiced?

“Mawwiage!”

See! The voices never shut the hell up!

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

I could drown in this constant deluge of thoughts sloshing around in my skull.

“Inconceivable!”

Stop! You see!? Right there! You’re actually doing it right now.

I am? Doing what?

Meditating.

Bullocks! Quoting lines from a movie isn’t meditating.

According to whom?

I don’t know. The experts?

And how do you become an expert in meditation? Is there a university? Do people walk around with a BA in meditation?

Well, a BA in anything is just as useful in the job market.

When quoting lines from a movie you enjoy watching, are you not redirecting your thinking? And are you not the most qualified expert on how YOU can accomplish such a task?

Okay. You do realize I’m seriously screwed up in the head. WE’RE seriously screwed up. Outside of all the suicidal ideation and paralyzing anxiety, you’re talking to a voice in your head and transcribing the conversation into an article. We’re not even sure which voice is the real you!

Clearly it’s me.

Face it. This whole scenario doesn’t speak so well to our mental health or our future. We’re probably going to die alone in a basement apartment surrounded by half-a-dozen rescue cats.

Yet while you’re quoting lines from a good movie, you’re not—

GREAT movie!

—You’re not thinking about suicide or anxiety.

Well, I am now.

You weren’t even concentrating on how you were redirecting your thoughts away from suicide or anxiety. You just did it!

I did?

Quote more lines from the movie.

Umm . . . “You mock my pain.”

More!

This isn’t working.

Because now you’re thinking about it! Over and over I get in my own way, even when I try to watch my thoughts, I start watching the watcher watching the thoughts! Am I breathing correctly? Am I sitting in the correct position? Shouldn’t I be wearing clothes?

So to meditate, we should just watch The Princess Bride again?

No. Well yes, we should. Everyone should watch that movie.

Agreed. But that’s meditating?

No. Well, kind of. Some people focus on their breathing and clear their thoughts in the morning and that works fine for them. I find that whole process laborious. Instead I quote lines from The Princess Bride, yet some people might find that movie laborious.

And those people have no soul.

“Why meditate?” Alan Watts asks. “Why do you have to crawl up into a hole? Or go to a Zen monastery? Or retire and be quiet when this is only a withdrawal?”

Who the hell is Alan Watts?

Watts states that by seeking a specific method or a specific guide, you’re just confusing yourself. “You are looking for what you’re asking for outside, as if someone else could give it to you. As if you didn’t have it.”

So, everyone who talks about meditation is full of bird droppings? Wouldn’t that include Alan Watts?

All these methods of meditation are guidelines, not rules to be rigidly followed. So yeah, if you think Alan Watts is full of bird droppings, then so be it! Just don’t take it all so seriously!

Seriously?

Seriously.

Isn’t it contradictory to say we should be very serious about not taking meditation too seriously?

That’s a good point.

Oh. It is?

Yeah. Let’s go watch The Princess Bride again.