I’m really good at sitting around and doing absolutely nothing, so when a lady friend asked me to accompany her to a meditation evening, I gave her a thumbs up and told her I’d love to. I mean, I’d just be bludging in a dark room with a bunch of very relaxed oddballs, so what could possibly go wrong?
While I have long hair and can often be found frolicking around fires, I’ve never really been into new-age medicine and spirituality – in fact, the last time I hung out with a bunch of hippies I embarrassed myself. Still, I’m open-minded and always willing to try new things, so there I was, standing outside a vegan restaurant in Newcastle, preparing to head inside and experience something new.
I was ravenous before heading into the restaurant, so I ducked into the kebab shop next door and ordered a massive kebab and a can of Coke. With only a few minutes until the start of the session, I scoffed what I could and the swaggered into the dimly-lit restaurant with garlic sauce dripping down my chin. There was a small collection of nutters sitting in a circle with their eyes closed, so I put my leftovers on a table and joined them.
Most of the hippies were older, sitting cross-legged on cushions. They were mostly wearing shawls and yoga pants, and certainly looked like they were relaxed and at one with the universe. There was only one other bloke there, and he introduced himself as Rudolph and the went back to meditating. I felt a bit silly at first to sit there with my eyes closed while the teacher spoke softly, but I soon realised that there’s not a lot to the whole meditation process and it’s actually pretty tranquil.
There was absolute silence as I sat there on my journey into the mind, and I couldn’t help thinking that I could’ve just as easily done this at home (or, even better, kicked back with a beer while watching the footy). As I sat there with my eyes closed, it soon became apparent that shovelling most of a kebab and all of a can of Coke down my gullet immediately before starting a meditation session wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. There was a rumbling in my guts, and while everyone else was breathing in and out calmly, I was doing my best not to let out a burp. Well, my best wasn’t good enough, and I belched loud enough to wake the dead, drawing angry looks from the group – especially Rudolph.
After burping through the next ten minutes of meditation, the teacher decided to switch things up a bit. She told us that we’d spend the next 15 minutes meditating while walking around the room, which sounded good to me because I was pretty bloody sick of sitting there. I thought we’d be trotting around and working up a sweat, but instead we walked in a circle very slowly with our eyes closed. It was a bit like what goes on in mental hospitals in American movies.
I got lost in my own little world as I strutted around the room. I was busy wondering what the score was in the footy when I headbutted something hard, and looked up to see that I’d bumped into a huge wooden statue of a cat, and had to struggle to keep it from toppling over. When I finally had it under control, I turned around to see Rudolph absolutely steaming as he returned to his cushion.
I was thinking it would be a good idea for me to piss off and leave the hippies to it, but I didn’t want to offend my lady friend, so I sat back in my chair for the next section of the night. We all had to sit down with our eyes closed, while the teacher quietly asked us questions. I was kind of zoning in and out and didn’t really know what was going on, so when the teacher asked me what I thought about this or that, I didn’t have a fucking clue what was going on.
I started rambling on about various things I’d been up to lately, such as playing PlayStation and getting a really good deal on cask wine, ending with an incredibly graphic depiction of a sexual encounter I’d had with a girl met on Tinder. I thought I was being deep and getting away with it, but when I looked over at Rudolph he had veins popping out of his forehead and his face was all red, so I cut my story short.
A couple of the hippies started rattling on about nature and butterflies, until Rudolph started chatting about his spiritual journey. His story started millions of years ago with the explosion of some far-off star, and 20 minutes later he finally getting closer to talking about the day he was born. I was bored out of my brain and really hungry, so I had a cracking idea; everyone had their eyes shut, so I snuck over and got the rest of my kebab, and kicked back on my chair to eat it while watching the footy on my phone. I was having a great time while Rudolph prattled on about rainbows and holding hands, and everything was going great until the Sharks scored.
“Oh, fucking hell!” I yelled out, forgetting where I was. Rudolph fell silent, then turned to look at me with eyes that burnt like the embers of hell. His mouth was twitching and his body jerking around as he stood up.
“You fucking arsehole!” he yelled, tipping over a chair for dramatic effect. “You fucking, fucking, fucking arsehole! This is my one time of the week to relax, and you have taken it away from me, you fucking arsehole! You. Fucking. Arsehole!”
Rudolph came at me with his arms outstretched, so I hopped up and raced outside. Fortunately, Rudolph tripped on his oversized yoga pants and sprawled on the floor, allowing me to make it to my car. I looked back at the restaurant and saw that it had descended into chaos, with hippies yelling at each other and throwing cushions around. One woman even bonked the teacher over the head with a ceremonial hammer. My lady friend threw open the passenger door of my car and got in, allowing me to drive off while an enraged Rudolph chased us down the street.
As I drove her away from the pandemonium, I thanked my lucky stars that my lady friend was very in touch with the universe and probably wouldn’t get too upset with me. After a long, silent drive, we got to her place and I dropped her off. I didn’t have high hopes that she’d want to see me again, but was still surprised when she punched me in the face and called me “the world’s biggest cocksucker” before slamming the door and storming off into the night.
Meditation, eh? I don’t see what’s so bloody relaxing about it!