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My Turn

Wayne Chan

From The Asian Reporter, V27, #1 (January 2, 2017), page 6.

Not enough time for meditation

You need to manage your stress better," my wife Maya would say. "You should try meditating."

Have I been stressed? Well, yes, I probably have. But meditation? Really?

Donít get me wrong. Iím sure meditation can do wonders to manage stress and anxiety. But just as some people love Brussells sprouts and other people think they are little vegetable balls of revulsion, Iím just not sure meditation is for me. And believe me, Iíve seen a lot of meditation up close and personal.

Every morning, when I get up for breakfast, I find Maya sitting on the family room floor, legs crossed with her arms resting comfortably on her thighs, palms turned upward in a kind of Buddha-trance-like state. In the background, there is a recording of a soft-spoken man with an Indian accent calmly repeating various mantras.

This is where I have a problem.

Iíve heard many of the mantras. Itís just that I hear all of them one mantra at a time. By the time the soft-spoken, Indian-accented guy gets to the second mantra, Iíve inevitably tuned out and started thinking about something else. It goes somewhat like this:

Mantra: Center your thoughts and let feelings of compassion, spirituality, and hopefulness bring you wellbeing.

My next thought: I wonder if that leftover slice of pizza is still in the fridge or did one of the kids already get to it? I should hide that slice somewhere before somebody swipes it. Is it too much to ask to have one leftover slice of pizza without having to think about where I need to hide it so nobody eats it? What kind of world do we live in where I have to stow away a slice of pizza to keep someone from snatching it?

The next thing I hear on the tape is, "Namaste." Wait, what? That was it? Iím still totally stressing out about the pizza!

My other issue with meditation is that, being a little neurotic anyway, Iím afraid if I ever did manage to lose myself in the soft-spoken, Indian-accented guyís mantras, it would leave me in such a vulnerable position that I could be talked into doing just about anything. Iím worried it might go something like this:

Mantra: Release all the stress and anxiety of your life. Focus on the next breath, and imagine that with each breath, your body is floating toward a calming sea of tranquility. As you drift deeper and deeper into complete mindfulness, know that your life is at peace, and think about how serene it might be to pull out your credit card and log onto <> to receive a 20-percent discount on your next order.

Me: "Wait a minute. What was that last part?"

Maybe Iím just being paranoid. Meditation could probably do wonders in reducing my stress and helping me better deal with the things we all go through in everyday life that cause so much anxiety.

Tell you what Ö Iím going to give this meditation thing a chance. Iím going to do a cost-benefit analysis, Iím going to chart my progress on a risk/reward scale, and if I can fit in a 15-minute meditation session in between the stock market close and my upcoming "Making More Time In Your Day" seminar, Iím all in with this meditation thing.

I need help Ö serious help.

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