I'm Just Saying…

April 24, 2016

The Meditation Cushion Provocation

A meditation cushion inspired this post.

Not meditation.  The cushion.

If I hadn’t been provoked, I wouldn’t have made the observation. Maybe I should have called the post, The Meditation Cushion Observation.

Too late now. I’ll come back to that in a minute…

Writers observe. Everything. It’s in the job description. That’s a good thing.

Or is it?

Instead of being in the moment, we’re standing outside it, watching.

I think we do this because our heads are filled with characters running amok, like a non-stop house party where your rude guests keep you up all night, and then ignore you anyway. Writers are captives to these pesky, yet much loved boarders. We would be lost without them, so we’re always looking for material for them.

Playwright and screenwriter Phoebe Ephron, mother of my idol, Nora Ephron, had a particular writing philosophy: Everything is copy.

I believe it.

I think I had been  observing for copy long before I realized I was doing it. Take, for example, my father’s funeral. I remember it well…

There we all are, sitting in solemn silence as the rabbi gives the eulogy.

And then the beeper goes off.

The rabbi’s beeper.


At the time, in the middle of my shock and grief, I think… does this happen at other funerals? Do other families have the memorial service for their loved one interrupted by a beeper?

The beeper belonging to their chosen clergyman.


I bet they don’t.

Nope. Just my family.

Later, when time had passed, I didn’t look back on this event with bitterness or indignation. No, I thought, “I need to use this in a story.”

Is that good? Not sure.

Even The Rodent Materialization Excitation of 2012 has been used for fiction fodder.

Sidebar: you will never find Disney’s Ratatouille on my DVR.


So what can I do?  It’s futile to fight it. I’m wired this way. But I do wonder…is something greater at work here?

As soon as something untoward happens, my friend Rebecca automatically points the finger at “The Universe,” (when she’s not sighing, “Jesus take the wheel”). This “Universe,” this ethereal something or other, doing something or other in our lives, is seen as a culprit, up to no good. But I do wonder, could “The Universe” be helping me by sending the odd, the unusual, and the downright shitty my way?

After all, I do need material.

Is “The Universe” putting me in these situations, forcing me to examine human nature—and providing copy?

So back to The Meditation Cushion Provocation

I’m taking a certification course as a Meditation Instructor.

I order a meditation cushion for my practice. I use a delivery address other than my home.

I’ve used this address many times. No problemo.

I get a message from Amazon. They can’t deliver my meditation cushion to my chosen address.

I contact Amazon customer service (which is awesome, by the way) and speak to the rep (who is very nice).

We have a conference call with a rep for a  Carrier Who Shall Remain Nameless (Also nice. Not helpful, but nice).

I am waiting for my meditation cushion, I say. Deliveries have been made to the given address before, I say.

I get “the speech.” Do you know about the speech? It’s the one that tells you your customer satisfaction is about to nosedive right into the toilet.

“I don’t know why the driver made deliveries to that address in the past. He should not have done that.”

Yes, Yes he should have. He should have done it now. If he did, I would have my meditation cushion.

The Amazon rep is a trooper. Seriously.  She’s in there working for a win-win solution.

Thank you Amazon sales representative. Thank you for trying to help me get my meditation cushion.

“We can deliver the package to a holding center,” says the rep for the Carrier Who Shall Remain Nameless.

Awesome. I can get my meditation cushion.

“For pickup you need to present legal identification with an address matching the address on the package.”

And we’re a no-go on the meditation cushion.

I give it one last try.

“Can I give you a different address for delivery?”

“The sender has restrictions on the package.”

Impossible. This is a meditation cushion. Meditation leads to liberation. Restrictions are the antithesis of meditation cushions. Abhorrent. Anathema. No-No’s.

“I’m not allowed to accept changes of address,” says the rep for The Carrier Who Shall Remain Nameless.

That’s a  negative on the meditation cushion.

As my temper goes to boil, I have a thought…

Hmmm, what would happen if I went batshit crazy right now because I can’t get my meditation cushion?

Would my kickass Amazon customer service representative find it odd that I study meditation and go batshit crazy because of non-delivery of my meditation cushion?

Would she conclude meditation is ineffective and a waste of time if I scream, “I WANT MY MEDITATION CUSHION, BITCH!”

I don’t do that.

But hey, I think, what if I write a story where someone DOES go batshit over non-delivery of their meditation cushion?

I may not have my meditation cushion but I have a kickass scene idea for a story.

I may not have my meditation cushion but it’s been a great day, creatively speaking!

Yay for creativity! Way to go Universe!

I cancelled the order.

Someday I’ll tell you about the doctor’s office incident.

You can remind me. Just mention “The Octogenarian Xenophobe Encounter” and that should do it.

Someday I’ll use it in a story.


Thank you, Universe.

I think.



June 1, 2011

There’s No Place Like Om

Filed under: Daily Life — jillamyrosenblatt @ 7:39 pm
Tags: , ,

Meditation is good for you. Meditation helps clarify and clear the mind, bringing peace and relaxation when one takes a moment to stop – and focus. The stresses of this world melt away and the spirit feels rejuvenated and refreshed.

That sounds wonderful.

Wait a minute. Why don’t I meditate? As a matter of fact, why doesn’t everyone?

I would like it duly noted that I have, on several occasions, attempted meditation. If there’s some kind of points system, I think that’s worth at least a five. I’m just saying. I would also like it noted that my personal best is twenty minutes. I have focused on my breath, listened to the faux sounds of crashing waves from my “Oceans of Tranquility” CD (and no, it’s not really called that). I was gentle with myself, forgiving myself when my thoughts wandered, tenderly leading my mind with acceptance and self-love to refocus on my breath.

I have to tell you, a few days of meditating and I was a tad edgy, even tense. After a week, I developed an eye twitch. I don’t know if there’s a “right” way to meditate, but obviously I was getting it wrong.

It’s no secret that the concept of meditation does not exactly gel with the zeitgeist of the Western world. We are a people on the move, getting things done, places to go, people to see, dragons to slay. The idea of sitting still, being still, doing nothing, thinking nothing… this is anathema to our Roadrunner way of life. After all, where is the tangible benefit? What do I have to show for spending some quality alone time with… me? If I’m not moving, I’m not doing, and if I’m not doing… I’m not getting things done.

To be fair, it appears that meditation is a flexible art. They say (whoever they are) there is no set time for meditation. Morning or evening will do. Well it’s not going to be the a.m. I can tell you that. I am NOT a morning person. And evenings?… It’s the NBA finals… and the NHL Stanley Cup Finals… I wonder if there’s any rule about meditating during the intermissions…

To tell you the truth, I was hoping there might be some Wile E. Coyote ACME Meditation kit available. You know, learn to meditate in five easy steps. Once again, I missed a memo. Meditation is referred to as a “practice.” I have to practice keeping my mind still. This shouldn’t be a problem. I can watch a block of the “E” network’s fine reality show programming and believe me, my brainwaves will flatline, no problem. I guess that’s not the same thing.

Finally, I found what I was looking for. An article on the Internet touted how to meditate anytime, anywhere, for five minutes. It’s so easy, I can sit at my desk at work, pay attention to my breath and before I can say “Who’s your bodhisattva?” vive enlightenment. And I wouldn’t have to do any shuffling of my busy schedule.

In the end, meditation is not really made for multi-tasking. But I keep thinking, what is the fascination with meditation? Is it the meditation itself, or the idea that we should be looking for something, whatever that something is, that is deeper than the surface of activity and noise, apps and gadgets, something that we can only find in the silence. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said “I have so much to do today, I will need to meditate twice as long.” Clearly, five minutes, just isn’t going to cut it.

So I tried one more time. I got up early one morning before the alarm. I closed my eyes, surrounded by the sweet sound… of silence. I relaxed, looked inward, and found in the recesses of my mind… Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” looping in my head. I lovingly and gently guided my mind back to the sound of my breath… and Gaga was still there.

And then my alarm went off. So much for meditating.

There’s always tomorrow.


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