Opinion: Managing meditation stress


My sister meditates and claims it makes her feel like another person. She has a small apartment in New York, so I hope there is enough room for everybody.

Meditating must be working for Linda because she once sent me a recipe with directions like:

  • I tbsp of chili sauce (DO NOT USE KETCHUP!)
  • I cup of whole milk (ABSOLUTELY NOT SKIM MILK)

She was a little on edge back then, but now when I ask for one of her famous recipes, I get things like:

  • I tsp of butter (unless you prefer olive oil—just go with the flow)
  • 2 oz of sour cream (yogurt would be more wholesome, but use whichever tastes better to you)

I wanted to learn how to meditate. I sent my wife a text to see if she also was interested. When Mary Ellen got home she was really upset. “We’ve never been happier. What brought this on?” My text said it was time for the two us to try mediation. Damn spell check.

To begin my journey, I got a book called “How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind,” by Pema Chodron. Was Pema a man or a woman? I looked up the name and saw a photo. I’m still not sure. If you do become buddies with your mind, don’t post it on Facebook. Even a close friend like that shouldn’t have access to all of your personal information.

Pema’s book begins with this quote: “Our life is an endless journey: Meditation allows us to experience all the textures of the roadway, which is what the journey is all about.”

Obviously, Pema has never driven in Indianapolis, because any journey here is all about avoiding potholes. People don’t say, “Man, how about that texture on Fall Creek Parkway!” 

The book uses expressions like: The principal of newness; having a naked heart; getting closer to yourself; scanning your body; tasting your emotions. Way, way too new age for a guy in old age.  

Now, I’ve downloaded an app called Headspace to walk me through some meditation exercises. My sister thinks this will make me a less material person. Linda is wrong about that: I’m a humorist…so the more material, the better.




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