A Realistic Guided Meditation

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Welcome to the Mindfulness App.

My name is Sarah. I will guide you through your morning meditation.

Together, we will give your day a perfect start, full of focus and presence.

Find a calm place where you won’t be disturbed.

Are you there?


Now find a comfortable seated position. A position full of wakefulness.

Basically, just don’t slouch.

Begin by focusing on the body.

Experience the whole body as a sense of spaciousness and openness.

Like a meadow. Experience the body as a meadow.

Notice any sensations in the meadow.

Be open to whatever arises.

Be open to flowers, sunshine, a random deer—anything meadow-y.

Just be open to it. Don’t nitpick.

Yes, it’s hard. But try.

Now return to the body.

What do you feel in the body right now?

What is present in the shoulders? The neck? The chest? The abdomen?

Do not scratch any itches.

Okay, scratch once.

All right, if you must, scratch twice. But do not scratch a third time. That is too many scratches.

Just observe.

More itches? Fine. Go to town.

Let the itches fade into nothingness.

You are done with the itches.

Now direct your attention to the breath.

Notice each inhalation and exhalation.

Be aware of what is happening in this breath.

And this breath.

And this breath.

And this one too.

Yes, it’s a lot of breaths.

Are you counting the breaths? That’s fine. You can do that.

Feel each breath go in and out, like a wave in the ocean.

In and out. In and out. In and out.

Try not to think of sex.

Remember, this is about waves.

What causes waves?

The wind does.

Also, the moon.

Feel your breath ebb and flow.

Ebb and flow. Ebb and flow. Ebb and flow.

Do you feel how the moon pulls on your breath?

It’s true, it does. Just a little.

If you don’t believe it, Google it later.



Release the breaths. Release them into space.

Now get familiar with your thoughts.

Observe what’s here in the thoughts.

Perhaps your thoughts drift to a neglected pile of laundry. That’s what’s here.

Ask yourself: Do you have a clean pair of jeans left?

Jeans are comfortable, unless they’re skinny jeans.

You wish that skinny jeans were comfortable. Or that non-skinny jeans were fashionable.

But fashion is fickle. What else is fickle? I don’t know… Bears?

Bears like honey. Honey. Bees. Things that fly. Airplanes. Pterodactyls. Dinosaurs went extinct. That meteor did it: Chicxulub.

Sit with the idea that a rock named “Chicxulub” killed the Pterodactyls.

Pterodactyls. Terra-Dactyls. Earth dactyls. Martian anapests. What’s an anapest again?

Forgetting things is annoying.

Now just think of a person who is annoying, for fifteen seconds. Jeremy. What a dick.

Why does he always hold his index finger up while ordering a skinny latte? That’s how a dick orders.

Realize that your attention has drifted.

Judge yourself negatively for your lack of focus.

The goal of meditation is to strengthen the attention by noticing moments of drift.

Judgment does not help, dummy.

Now judge yourself for previously judging yourself.

Notice the irony in what you just did, you numbskull.

But is that really “irony”?

Remember: “Irony” has a linguistic sense, like sarcasm, but it also has a situational meaning.

Maybe the situational meaning applies here.

Notice: the irony in trying to remember the definition of the word “irony” while trying to meditate.

But is that irony?

Hmm. You know who would have an opinion on that? Jeremy.


Back to the present.

Follow your breath from your belly to your nose.

Notice a sensation of hunger in your belly.

Anticipate your kelp-plantain-maca-goji morning smoothie.

Remember: You are out of maca.

Observe: A kelp-plantain-maca-goji smoothie without maca is intolerable.

Your morning is ruined.

Perhaps you feel an urge now to run to your health food store.

Imagine the maca section.

There are so many sizes, features, and brands to choose among.

You could buy a gelatinized maca, for enhanced bioavailability.

But that one is significantly more expensive.

You know what sounds nice? Having a lot more money.

Then you wouldn’t deliberate so much.

The more you deliberate over maca, the less energy you have to be kind to your loved ones.

Ask: Would a Zen master interrupt a meditation to pursue a smoothie ingredient?

Notice your ability to self-sabotage.

Imagine: If only you were in a meadow.

Here comes a brilliant stag running through the meadow.


What is the stag running from?

Goblins? Orcs? Jeremy?

Or, like you, is it running from its own problems?

Wait, is that something else there in the meadow?

It’s the laughing corpse of your grandfather arm-wrestling an undead Pee-wee Herman.

Okay, you probably overdid the meadow thing.

You overdo everything, because you are horrible.

Realize: You are your own worst enemy.

Hear the phrase “I am at war with myself” ring in your head.

Think about war.

Realize: the War on Terror has been ongoing for seventeen years.

The War on Terror will never end in your lifetime. Never.

Hear the timer beep.

Your guided meditation has ended.


You are focused. You are relaxed. You are centered.

Give your meadow and Jeremy both a goodbye kiss.

Your perfect day has now begun.

Oh Yes, There's More...

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Written by

Alex Baia is a humor writer and contributor to McSweeney’s and Slackjaw. He lives in Austin, TX.