February 3, 2015

How to Meditate.


My friend Muffy asked me:

How can I start meditating?

This is what I told her:

Dear Muffy,

Thank you for asking me about meditation

And how to get started.

I have been meditating for awhile now

Like maybe fourteen years?

Pretty long relative to my life.

Pretty short relative to how long this meditation thing has been around.

Some people think it’s hard.

It’s not hard.

It involves two lungs.

Or if you only have one lung, that will do.

You don’t have to go to the top of a mountain, or hide in a cave, or move to a monastery.

You don’t have to believe anything.

You can believe everything.

Mostly you just sit and breathe.

You don’t need a magic word or sound.

It’s okay if thoughts come in.

Just say, “Hello thought! Goodbye thought!”

Sort of like in Go Dog Go!

When one dog asks the other if he likes her hat

And he confesses that no, he does not like her hat

And she says goodbye

And he says goodbye

Then off they go.

Same with thoughts.

Hello thought! Goodbye thought!

I started out doing like one minute at a time

Back when I did Taekwondo

One minute of sitting still

Eyes closed



That was a challenge

Not hard

Just not easy breezy

I practiced

There is nothing I can really teach you

I can give you permission if you want

Let’s try that

Even though you don’t really need my permission

Still, it can help if someone says:

You can do it.

So, Muffy?

You can do it!

Right now

Sit down





(Not on someone’s face probably)





Read this next part first and then close your eyes:

In a moment you will close your eyes

You will breathe in once

You will breathe out once

You will open your eyes.

Ready? When I say go

Close your eyes

Breathe in

Breathe out


Okay ready?

This is really it this time.


(Muffy closes her eyes.

She breathes in.

She breathes out.

She opens her eyes.)


Folks, we have a winner!

Muffy just meditated.

See—that wasn’t hard!

Now go out and play.

Tomorrow we will talk about building an altar

For fun and inspiration

Then we will move onto how meditation is like knitting

Soon there will be guided meditations

Where I help you think of shit

And then I help you forget it

This is so cool!

Thanks for asking Muffy.



*Sometimes we meditators say metta instead of or in addition to love

metta means loving kindness. Being from New Jersey, I have mixed feelings about using the lingo, like maybe it’ll look like I’m showing off.  You can try saying metta

and if that feels weird, don’t worry about it.


Author: Spike Gillespie

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Wikimedia

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