Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can Watching 'Family Guy' be Meditation?

I got up today at six o'clock to do some meditation.  Then I realized that I don't know what meditation is.  So I'm sitting here, with my eyes closed, wondering when "It" will hit me.  I used to get up at six on Saturdays when I was a kid to watch cartoons.  I was so engrossed, that, I have to wonder, is watching something as banal as "The Road Runner" a form of meditation?

Then where do we draw the line?  Is watching pornography meditation? 

I think it's about the mindset that you are trying to create.  There are those who believe that sexual expression is a form of meditation, there was a book written on that, it's called the Kama Sutra. 

Now here me out:  The point of meditation is to be mindless or mindful, or both at the same time.  That means something like awareness with the letting go of awareness.  A television show is an imaginary world we enter and lose our minds in.  So is video gaming, reading, writing, even jogging.  So is sex.

So if life itself can be a meditation, then is meditation nothing?  No, because while you are in the middle of life, recognizing that you are in the middle of life, and then letting that recognition go and being mentally free of the stupid chatter in your brain...Well I think that's meditation.

My head is spinning all the time, usually it's just crap that it's spinning with.  Right now if I let my mind go this is what it would sound like:  I gotta go to Wallmart to get those bulbs, what else was a I supposed to get from there, I hate fucking Wallmart, I have to take the clothes out of my car, if I don't pay that parking meter in four more days it will double, how much money do I have in my account?

And so on and so on.  Our brains were meant for something higher than all that crap.  For some people it is math and logic, for others it is creativity.  But when you can shut that chatter off, you can be free.  I would even go as far as to say that talking in a manner that is uplifting and respectful can be a form of meditation, it's an exchange of ideas. 

Many people believe that meditation is very rule based:  You must sit in a certain position, close your eyes and chant the name of god.

Why?  Because this chanting gets rid of the bullshit in your head and there is nothing wrong with that.  However, there are other ways of expressing spirituality that can be just as effective and real.  I'm assuming that god or goddess put us on Earth to live, not to sit in a room all day every day and chant.  We have work to do and a family to raise, but if in the back of our minds, we are realizing that we are one with all humanity and living things, even while we are doing mundane acts like washing the dishes, we might become free of the mediocrity of our lives.

I think sometimes it's just about transcending the moment, and being in the moment at the same time.  Meditation is about being here, but realizing that the space we are in is temporary yet eternal. 

Truthfully, it's hard to make sense of it.

Sometimes I hate television so much and I will just close my eyes while it is on and stop thinking.  Maybe this is escapism, but maybe it is a form of mediation in which I leave my reality for a little while and enter some other space.   

Maybe if you shut the clutter of your mind and get up and dance...well in some states in India people dance for god.  If you want to do it for god, do it for god.  If you want to do it for yourself, than I hope you dance.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yoga....and I'll have fries with that...

So, the other day I did yoga and ate french fries on the same day.  I'm just wondering how much of this dance I'm gonna do before I realize that taking one step forward and two steps back is not attractive.  I don't usually eat french fries, but that doesn't stop me from indulging in bad choices from time to time, juxtaposed with my good choices. 

It sounds so cheesy, but I want to get this life right.  I don't know if standing on my head while focusing on my breath is the ultimate goal.  But I do know that not eating french fries while lying on my couch is sort of a goal.

I mean ultimately what do I want out of this "Healthy" thing I'm doing?  I want to breathe better.  I want to be thin, ok, thinner, if that's possible.   

I mean I hate to get all granola on you, but I will anyways, I went organic this month.  And that's all good and fine but I'm still gonna mess this thing up.  This eating and drinking the right shit so that my shit will come out right.  I'm mean I'm thirsty at this moment and I want some Diet Coke.  Does anyone really even know what's in that shit?  Anything that bubbles like that should be cause for suspicion.

I don't know much about anything, but I do know that having the right intention has to be worth something to somebody.  I'm trying to, you know, get healthy.

The thing is I don't want to get some weird disease I could have neglected had I had one less Butterfinger, and I love my chocolate and peanut butter more than life itself. 

So instead of doing yoga and eating fries, would it have been better to just stay on my couch and drink water?  No, I don't think so, because somewhere between the yoga and the lard infested fries, lies my life.  And it's a good one.  I'm proud of my half-ass accomplishments. 

But in all seriousness, I will probably eat anything at a restaurant, organic or pesticide infested.  I'm not gonna take the fun out of my life.  But I'm gonna try to not let life take the fun out of me.  No, I don't really know what that means.


Friday, December 16, 2011

The Homeless Chic

The thing is, I'm sitting next to this homeless chic.  Well she's not exactly a chic, she's an elderly black woman and I should have more respect for her.
We are both sitting on a couch like seating at Starbucks in Royal Oak, Michigan.  We have both been sitting here for four hours without getting up.  I was studying for various exams and writing various papers.  She was eating a cookie I would have eaten.  She took a nap that I wanted to take.
What's the real difference between me and her?

I'm a bitch, that's the real difference.

I'm so bitchy that I thought some of my stuff was touching some of her bags, she has collected a couple shopping bags, when I thought my bag was touching her bag, WHOA, I moved my stuff closer to me.
I realized she's is an untouchable.  I thought untouchables were only in India.  See we think they have cooties or something.

I'm the one though, I'm the dirty one.  She's probably real clean, she probably doesnt judge other people the way I do. 

There was a time that homeless people were invisible to me, I really didn't see them.  Then I spent some time in a New York City hospital psychiatric ward being hospitalized for Bipolar Disorder.  I literally remember eating dinner with a human being that I later saw, when I left the hospital, eating of a dumpster on the street. 

I broke bread with these people.  What's the difference between me and some of these people? I am a few unmedicated days away from being on the streets, being confused and maybe even being homeless.  Why?  Because most homeless people are sufferring from what we as a society would call a mental disease of some sort. 

Or maybe they are free? 

Could it be that they just could not take life anymore, they could not handle other people?  Maybe they choose this life over our empty domesticated lives where we go on the treadmill of life without thinking about a single thing we are doing, and just doing and doing.

Maybe they are just thinking and thinking or maybe not thinking and not thinking and not thinking.

Sometimes I don't want to think and sometimes I want to get away, away from even myself. 

I'm no different from people on the streets, maybe you are.  But I know my place in society, I'm an overeducated, underpaid, hop skip and a jump away from being on the streets.  I'm just lucky I have a family and true friends that have been there for me when I was down and out.  I ran away from them a few times and almost ended up on the streets.

It's not something I'm proud of.  But I'll tell you why I did it: because I wanted to be free.  Free of all the shit that life entails.  All the boredum and monotony and hard work and bitchy people.  I'm not defending myself, I'm explaining myself.  I needed to run, cause life got too hard for me.  They say it's my chemistry.  Maybe.  Or maybe life whacked out my head and I needed a fucking break.  Maybe life changed my chemistry. 

They say I have a chemical imbalance.  I'll tell you what, the world has a chemical imbalance.  Maybe I don't fit in because I'm the one whose chemically balanced.  Again, I'm not trying to romanticize my mental illness, but what I'm saying is who are we to judge?  These people that roam the streets, some of them could be so zen they are like prophets, but we don't even have the mental capacity to hear what they are saying.  I can't even sit next to one of them in a Stabucks for godsakes.     

Also, I know they look all sick and twisted, but did you ever for a moment think that a homeless person might enjoy walking the streets as opposed to being locked up in one of our "jails" we call houses or buildings.  Maybe they want to keep it real.

I'm not trying to glorify homelessness.  It's a disgusting problem and we as a society should sit down and talk to homeless people.  Ask them what their dreams are.  Ask them if they want to change thier situation, if we can help.

But I couldn't do it, I couldn't talk to her.  Not that day, maybe one day, I will be able to have a conversation with someone who looks kinda scary to me.  Not someone who looks like a serial killer, I try to stay away from those types of homeless people, (like I know the difference) but really someone who is not in my upper middle class lifestyle. 

I should ask them how thier day is going.  Because I know I'm counting them, these days that are good.