The Demons That Visit Me: Adventures in Centering Prayer

You forgot to start with three deep breaths.

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh. In – You’re probably going to have to poop.
I wonder what sound the timer on my watch will make. I’ve never used it before. Probably not as nice as the harp thing on the iPhone.

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh.
Lisa’s probably going to interrupt you. She doesn’t know you’re awake, even though you should have been a long time ago. She’ll come upstairs to get some socks and walk in and be face to face with you sitting in your pajamas – sometimes we say las pijamas because it is one of the few Spanish words we remember from our classes less than two months ago – she’ll see you sitting in your pajamas with your eyes closed and start to apologize, but then realize what you’re doing and stop, but you’ll already be distracted and she’ll feel bad even though you know it’s not her fault.

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh.
Y’know, you started with 15 minutes just a few days ago and now you’re doing 30. That’s really good. You’re probably the best centering prayer ever. People will be amazed. But you probably won’t make it that long. At 20 minutes, you’ll start wondering when it’s going to end and then you’ll check your watch, but you’ll still have 10 minutes to go, but it will all be ruined then anyway.

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh. In. Out. Yah. Weh.
You should blog about this. [Imagines self blogging about this.] A lot of these thoughts would be funny if written down, like stream of consciousness. People would think you were really funny. But also vulnerable for showing how terrible you are at this.
[Thinking about blogging.] [Thinking about thinking about blogging.] [Thinking about thinking about thinking about blogging.]

Breathe. In. Out. I don’t think my hands are placed the same on each knee. I don’t think I’m symmetrical. Should I move? Should I check. I feel like I’m falling over.

Breathe. I’ve noticed that when I start thinking, the right side of my head feels heavier and my right eye feels like it’s sinking into my cheek and it feels like my head is twisting from the inside, like my mind is a car that turned too fast and is flipping over in slow motion.

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh. There’s a glowing, shadowy orb on the horizon. In. Out. Yah. Weh.
[Mind reaches out for orb. Starts to move inside it.] *burp*
You really started this too late. It was almost 12:30 and you still have lot of work to do. And you have to walk the dogs. Unless it’s raining. I wonder if it’s still raining. Then you have that concert tonight. It’s an early show. You’ll probably have to work some more after, so you can’t drink too much. But that’s okay because you don’t usually drink much at concerts. I wonder why that is. When you get home, you’ll probably just want to sit down with a glass of wine or whiskey and watch TV. You’ll say that you can just get up in the morning and finish your work, but you never want to do that and then you’ll be late to church and everyone will know you did it all last minute and it will be terrible and people will wonder why they bother to show up at all.

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh.
I dreamed last night of meeting two Rhodesian ridgebacks. They were really sweet, even in the midst of an apocalypse. Then Lisa lied when our hosts asked us what we did. I couldn’t tell if it was a needed flight of whimsy, like we can be anyone we want now that the world has ended, or an evasion, trying to seem as boring as possible so they wouldn’t ask us any more questions. I decided not to tell them that, before the catastrophe, I was not the Chief Accounting Officer of the next city over. Lisa actually said “the next city over” and pointed vaguely, as if everyone forgets local geography in an apocalypse, but everyone just nodded, so I went along.

Breathe. In. Ou – Lisa’s probably going to interrupt you while you’re trying to write this. [Imagines Lisa coming upstairs to find that I am awake and am already working without coming down to say hello. She starts to speak, but I hold up one finger while trying to hold onto the thought I’m typing, but it gets away anyway. I sigh, exasperated, but cheerily say hello.]

Breathe. Oh, there’s the orb again! I wonder what that is. I wonder if everyone sees the same thing when they meditate. I should join a meditation group. They will be amazed at how long I can sit still even though they’ve never seen me do it before. We’ll share stories of our inner adventures and have deep, lasting relationships built on the pure knowledge of ourselves, our true selves that no one else understands. Oh, the orb!

Breathe. In. Out. Yah. Weh. In. Out. Yah. Weh.
Y’know, you’ve really just spent this whole time writing a blog in your head. That’s not really centering prayer.

Breathe. In –
*watch vibrates*
Is that the timer going off? Shouldn’t it make a sound? [Opens eyes. Looks at watch.] Dammit. It’s the stupid thing that tells me I need to move if I sit too long. But I only have 12 seconds left! Re-center. Re-center! Breathe. In. Ou – *beep beep beep*

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