Guided Meditation

I can’t imagine having to try to convince you that Brat Craven-gnaw is unfit to serve anyone, let alone bring reason to the Supreme Court.

And watching that Profile in Cowardice called a shouting; er, I mean a hearing, one can easily conclude that even politics no longer exists. This is a government of the government, for the government, by the government. Lincoln’s words have “perished from the earth.”

On the other hand, I can’t remember witnessing anything like the courage and sacrifice of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. That was for all of us.

The contrast is so telling.

I need to calm down. Join me—–

Guided Meditation

Sit in a way that allows you to be comfortable
and relaxed. Do not let this hot and humid morning
enter your mind. Empty your mind, even if you

were up until 3am trying to forget what
your doctor told you yesterday afternoon. Now
take three deep breaths allowing yourself

to savor the mysterious gift that you
are breathing. You are breathing here
during this one moment, the only moment

that the benevolence of the earth gives
during this moment. This is your moment
even though we do not yet know

what a moment is. I often wonder what
the moment is just prior to the moment.
But that is a thought. And this is a yoga

meditation, and we are to accept each thought
as simply something that passes through us
and goes on its merry, or often un-merry, way.

Take another breath counting to four on the inhale
while picturing a gnome strolling up your nostrils
lugging a bag of gentle breezes, then count to six

on the exhale as the gnome cascades ass over
essential oils on an avalanche of air. Feel
your whole body fully relaxed. Continue breathing.

Picture a candle in a cave. Do not ask why in the
whole wide world there is a candle in a cave. If
you do, see in the question a yogi smiling as he

searches for the matches. Continue breathing.
And now imagine a field of lotus flowers. Or
if you are from the midwest and unfamiliar

with lotus flowers you can always substitute corn.
Now picture rain on a roof. Listen to it. Listen
to the distant cough of thunder. Just listen. Don’t

think about what you left out to ruin the last time
it rained. Continue breathing, and as you do, allow
any image to appear on the multiplex of your mind.

Be sure not to fixate on any one image. If a lover
old or new comes at you with a flame thrower, just
sit, watch, let it all pass, be glad your ego’s been emulsified.

Stay relaxed. Continue breathing. Feel the comfort
of your whole body as you repeat the mantra, “I am
at peace. I am totally at peace. I am really, totally at peace.”

Now that you are at peace, feel your feet, palms, pelvic floor
fully at rest in the room. Come to Sukhasana. Bring your hands
to your heart, and join me for one long peaceful Om.

–Jack Ridl

First published in I-70 Review
To be included in Saint Peter and the Goldfinch (Wayne State University Press)

On April 1 (perfect!)  my new book, St. Peter and the Goldfinch, will be released by Wayne State University Press. Yes, preordering is up at that link, and Julie says stay tuned for news of a PARTY!

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Visit Reader’s World in Holland, The Bookman in Grand Haven, and The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

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Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.

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28 thoughts on “Guided Meditation

  1. Thank you for this poem and your political insights, Jack. Hmmm. Maybe one of your former students will take it upon themselves to write a companion book to John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage. This one could be called Profiles in Cowardice. They would have plenty of material.

    • With you, Richard, I hope that book too gets written.
      Thanks so very much for affirming what I wrote about the
      political. It helps so much in sustaining this project.

  2. Jack,

    Yes, we need relaxation, and peace in this time of turmoil! I’m feeling calmer already.

    Besides, I have not lost faith in the results of the FBI investigation.

    I sincerely believe that the FBI’s probe of Kavanaugh’s friend Judge has revealed what they needed to end this process ahead of schedule.

    It’s the only thing that makes any sense in this crazy nomination process. Why else would they not at least answer calls from many people who said they had information?

    I really hope I am right! We shall soon see if this proves to be why they stopped their investigation ahead of the finish line, knowing the race is already over.

    Keep your fingers crossed. If I am wrong, it is par for the course, heaven help us. We can all bend over and hold our ankles. Our country is screwed.


    • I am sooooooooo happy for your message because this is exactly the purpose
      of this project: to help people keep attending to their own lives during
      this time. And delight MUST be a sustaining part of that. Moments are
      so very very important.
      I can’t know unless told if I am at all helpful. You told me. And I
      am rich with gratitude.

  3. Hi Jack ,
    I’ve highjacked Bobs phone to read your post
    before we start our Camino journey tomorrow! We are currently on a bus with 20+ members of our amazing DUCC community , heading toward Lugo ( ground zero)
    Feeling so blessed…
    excited for our pilgrimage!!
    Your post today is a perfect send off for our journey!
    Will hold you and Julie in our ❤️ s as we walk!
    Louise and Bob

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Ahhhh yes. Nothing like a little bit of irreverent reverence to send
      you on your way. We are happy in many ways that you two are walking
      your Camino journey. It will continue on your return.

    • That says it all, Marsh! To know this is to sustain me in this project.
      My thanks are abundant: to give something that another loves is a great joy.
      And one can’t know unless told. Thank you for telling me.

    • So good to hear, dear good Tony. So good to hear.
      May that gnome be ever with you.
      Please know that I hold you in helpless are always.

    • It’s a benign and delight-filled gnome. He needs your giggles.
      We’re so grateful to have you in our days.
      Be not disturbed!

  4. Thank you for making me smile, laugh out loud and enjoy memories of meditating this morning, Jack. This is no small feat considering this excruciating time of waiting for the other shoe to drop, feeling in all likelihood another person of privilege, pants engulfed in flames, is going to be ushered into a position of great power. God, I do hope I am wrong! Think I need to go meditate!

    • Oh how I hope you are wrong, too. And your description is so sadly exact.
      Within it all, there are ways to dapple our days with delight, giggles,
      and laugh out louds.
      My abundant thanks to you

  5. Jack, you have touched on so many of my meditative experiences! Thank you for the chance to breathe, to reconnect with something far less profane than what has surrounded us for too long. Thanks for the smiles and giggles, too!

    • Eric, you are so right: there is something about the serious that needs not
      to be taken too seriously, but dappled with delight and joy.

      Like you, I feel surrounded. And your “profane” hits it precisely.
      My deep thanks.

  6. Thank you, Jack. This poem is just right for this day. Deb and I just came back from a trip. We spent three days in Burlington, Vermont visiting our daughter, Alison, her husband and 15 yr. old son. We then spent three days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We traveled through the autumn colors of the Kancamagus Highway. We hiked the Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch with its 70′ to 90′ rock walls and waterfalls. We stopped at The Basin, a natural pool 30′ across, carved out of solid rock at the last Ice Age. Thoreau visited this place. He includes it in his journal. I wonder what he would say about 45’s presidency. Likely, his words would echo your comments, today.

    • Jim, this is a meditation, what you wrote. And this is where we all
      deserve to live and be. My thanks span the mountains.

      Do you know Mark and Cindy Hiskes? Their son, wife, child live in Burlington
      and love it so much.

      To Walden, to you, my thanks!

      • Yes, we do know Mark and Cindy Hiskes. They went to the church we attend when they were in the greater Chicago area. They are missed much and yet not too far away.

        Love hearing from you, Jack, and reading your poems!

  7. How will I ever lead a meditation again without using the image of a gnome cascading ass over essential oils?!

    Thank you????

    Hugs and giggles,

  8. Hi Jack, I have a meditation suitable for Wash. DC. A trust walk with “the blind leading the blind”…Blessings, bill h

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