I USED TO THINK it was all so complicated: Meditation and mantras and yoga and all that Eastern stuff. It seemed like it would require trips to India, something I refuse to do because of the long, uncomfortable flight packed inside a tiny tube high up in the sky. So I was doomed to never really “get it,” not in the same way the Beatles “got it” after they hung out with their guru in India for awhile and George went all “Hare, Hare, Krishna, Krishna” on us.
I felt stuck as an American, with cruddy American ideals and habits filled with shopping malls and advertising and TV laugh tracks and celebrities and junk food and Starbucks and all that other crap that makes us the greatest nation in the word, ha ha ha.
But then I started reading books by certain people who made it easy for me to “get it,” and after enough reading and enough practice, now I’ve “got it,” and it’s not complicated at all, not even a little. It’s all just a way to stop thinking terrible thoughts or obsessive thoughts or any thoughts and just be, breathe and accept, without judgment or expectations.
The mantra is nothing more than a word or group of words to think over and over, instead of thinking, “I might have a brain tumor, he never called me back, that woman drives me nuts, I forgot to mail that check, that guy is a total asshole, am I wasting my life, is that a new mole, I need snow tires, these pants make me look fat, am I fat, could it be cancer.” It’s much nicer and calmer to think, “Om mani padme hum,” over and over and over and over until all the bad thoughts are beaten down into a slimy pulp you can just wash down the drain in your shower.
The best part is you can do it right here in America. I love it.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.