by Jake Christie

ROCKING MEDITATION.
a story.

Tim assured me that this is how he usually meditates, but “Jungle Boogie” is blasting out of the stereo so loud that I can't hear myself think. I open my eyes and look across the braided Egyptian rug and he's just sitting there, legs crossed, eyes closed, breathing softly.

Without opening his eyes he says, “You need to relax.”

“I am relaxed,” I say.

“I can hear you breathing,” says Tim, which strikes me as near-impossible. “Concentrate. Let your thoughts go.”

I lower my eyebrows and glare at him, which he either can't hear or doesn't feel is worth mentioning. I close my eyes and breathe like he told me – calm in through the nose, stress out through the mouth. I get two mouthfuls of stress spit out before the bass hits my chest so hard that I feel like I'm going to cough.

“Don't open your eyes,” says Tim.

“I can't think over the music,” I say.

“You're not supposed to be thinking,” says Tim, “you're supposed to be not thinking.”

“Well, I can't not think over the music,” I say. “Can I turn it down?”

“No,” says Tim. I open one eye, then the other. He's in the same spot, chest barely moving. I uncross my legs and hug my knees.

“Clear your mind,” he continues. “Let the music wash over you. Become one with the music. It is part of you, and you are part of it. You are not separate things. Leave yourself behind. Let your thoughts go.”

One more time I close my eyes and breathe. I curl my toes and dig them into the rug. I breathe the calm in through my nose and the stress out through my mouth.

“Just breathe,” says Tim.

“Get down, get down,” advise Kool and the Gang.


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