Digesting Zen

Zen Buddhist meditation.
Honestly, I enjoyed it.
But it took a minute.

I was terrified, when we were all sitting there, we had done our chanting, and they announced that we would be meditating for 20 minutes.

Why was I terrified? I shouldn't have been! I've been meditating for years. I even taught mindfulness meditation. The people I was surrounded by seemed safe and nice enough. They weren't making us do something dangerous.

I wasn't perched on a mountain ledge with the wind whipping past me in a manner that would make me feel as though I could be swept from the face of the earth and deposited not so gracefully on the rocky floor below.


I was sitting in a very ordinary room, with ordinary people, and all the teacher had said was, "Now we'll enter into a 20 minute meditation."

My internal reaction was, "Oh fuck! Oh fuck! You've got this. You're OK. You can do this! It's only 20 minutes! You can get through this!"

Why was my reaction so strong?
Why did I have to coax myself off of a ledge I was not on?

Because there was no music.
But the room was anything but silent.

There were no distractions from the symphony of gurgling stomach sounds and digestive dialogue.

As I entered into the meditation, I realized how incredibly fascinating that symphony was. How many different sounds the stomach, intestines, and bowls can make.

There were high pitched squeals.
There were low rumbles as if from a deep cave.
There were long drawn out notes from each end of the scale.
There were short bubble pops.
And loud begging noises that longed for a cracker.

It was beautiful!
For 20 glorious minutes I sat and contemplated the dynamic digestive system and all the ways in which our bodies process our nutrients.


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