A Guided Meditation

I just finished up a guided meditation. Gil Fronsdal. It was a stretch, but I’m glad I did.

Pool Shirt

I feel very fat. I sat there feeling my love handles against the back of my shirt like gentle guilt. Then Gil told us to start relaxing parts of our body… the belly came up. I relaxed it. Holy shit! I was holding it in, like, 12 inches or something.

So I have all this fatness control under the surface of my mind, like some kernel task. I’m constantly sucking in, elongating my torso, trying to look buff-er and in-control-er.

I’m sitting here, some lumpy, weak guy, rolly polly, meditation fag. It’s not pretty.

I realize: I’m hating myself right now. Wow, I’m really coming down on me, aren’t I? There’s some part of my me that’s dressed up like a drill sergeant and he’s yelling at me for being fat and lazy and not doing something with my life and not being better at this shit and yadda yadda.

I realize: there’s more me’s in here than I thought we were.

I’m just letting my belly out, feeling my love handles mock me, yelling at myself… rolly polly asshole worthless guy.

Even now as I write I feel those fucking love handles, pushing out, drooping down… failure, inability.

But I’m meditating, and I can see what’s going on here. I can see the sergeant and the scared kid. I have a little bit of leverage from where I’m sitting, like I’m accessing some rare super user who ranks higher than the other me’s in the room.

sudo stop being an hater.

But this is new to me, revelation: I have a lot of internal stuff about this fat thing, I care about it… apparently. It’s news to me. Why do I care so much? It probably has to do with being raised to try to be the best, shunning weakness and whatnot. That resonates a little with me – not a lot, though. It’s mostly a surprise to find it. What to do with it?

A few weeks ago I thought about this: usually, the guy in the room who’s having the best time? He’s the chubby guy with the great laugh. Can I just own this? I have a great laugh. Can I own my weight? If I’m svelte can I pay just a little attention to it instead of carrying it along with some “look what I did”-ness? If I’m chubby, can I come to believe it’s not because I’m some fucked up person with no control and no value, worthless asshole poor-farm crazy-house shit-fuck guy?

Can I own this? ‘Cause I think that’s the goal here. Shhhhhhhh.


We’re back into our breath, gentle attention. In, out. Some minutes go by.

“Notice the kinds of thoughts you’re thinking.” That’s what my buddy Gil just said… It snapped me out of a series of thoughts. I got away from my breath.

Good catch, Gil, you got me. Turns out I was thinking all sorts of thoughts about stuff I could do. Businesses and videos to start, writings, relationships to partner with, etc. My whole lean is forward.

I’ve got this non-stop nervous energy about making things, about the next thing, about things I want to do, about making a buck and being happy and plying my oars and getting somewhere. I’m anxious.

My whole thing is anxious, that’s my thing. It’s not anxiety, though. It’s not even worry so much as it is a constant vibration, like some frustrated kinetic energy stored up in a spring. But I don’t have the right output yet. So I’m anxious about finding it. That’s my thing right now. That’s where I spend my time and spin.

Breathe in… focus on the feeling of the air in your nostrils.

Little Man Big Suit

I want to build meaningful things, and I have some wisdom around that, but I’m also, like, 4 years old. I know enough to shoot down ideas before they get me in trouble, but I’m stupid enough to really need to do one or nine of them (case in point: this post). I’m like a seven year old in his dad’s suit, sleeves hanging down, wide brimmed hat covering my eyes, floppy folds furled fatly on the floor. That’s me. I have this 7 year old’s desire to create and this republican’s gift to ask about revenue streams, so I get to do neither well. I would rather be a starving artist or an owner of a bunch of car washes. Fuck that, though, I don’t want to be some starving artist.

What I really want to do is make a living with heart. I want to make and shape and row and plow and dig and plant and reap. I’ve got this minor-wisdom and big vision for life and what matters, but I’m some shitty 7 year old who can draw ok. What I can do – what’s possible now – feels stupid sometimes.

So my thing right now is being anxious… and chubby… and yelling at myself. A chubby 30 something with this gay “i just want to dance!” heart and the over-caffeinated mind of some make-shift Henri Nouwen… and a drill sergeant – mash it up.

Breathe in… I’m just noticing… not judging. Gentle attention.

But I’m thankful for Gil, my Buddha buddy, for whispering in my ear. I had this counselor once who kept asking me what I wanted to talk about. I had it all together then. Now I see a little more. Thanks Gil!

Exhale and relax… [fart] “Ahhhhhhh.”

The Matterful Monthly

A monthly for modern meaning makers from Chase Reeves about building lifestyles of significance.

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