Sit Down, Enlighten Up

Recently, I began meditating. Actually, I sit and fall asleep. At first, meditation seemed ridiculous. There’s so much to do, so little time. It’s one of the lovely paradoxes of life: when I let everything go, I see I have everything I need. And there’s something about doing nothing that cheers me up- like taking the day off. It’s the same joy I feel when something on my to-do list gets canceled. Yes! I have more free time. Meditation brings me to that place of seeing I have all the time in the world. I don’t need to do anything. And when I meditate, I don’t sit on the floor cross-legged; I prefer a nice, comfy chair.

I set out looking for the perfect chair. I wandered into a tiny run-down thrift store, and there between the three-legged coffee table and the stack of National Geographic was the Green Chair. I sat down. I eased forward and the chair rocked. I leaned back and the chair reclined.  “Damn,” I thought, “flexibility turns me on.”

“How much?” I asked.

“Ten dollars,” the clerk said.

“Ten?”

The manager needed to get rid of it; it was blocking the aisle. I disguised my excitement and muttered about its girth. We settled on eight. How could anyone have passed it up? It’s beautiful, it’s adaptable, and according to its label it has a reputation for being Easy. And we have so much in common. How often women have looked at me as if I were blocking the aisle.

Sitting in my green bean, I’ve learned to be quiet, to listen. Outside, planes putter by. Wind chimes syncopate and rhyme. Why do birds suddenly appear? The breeze saunters in through the open window and caresses its way through my hair on a surprisingly warm day in March. I hear cars change gears to make their way up the hill. Never have I uttered “aah” so often, so openly, so shamelessly. I take it all in. At first from a 90-degree angle, then from 120 degrees, until finally I let it all come and go from 180 degrees: my head back, my feet up, and my nose nowhere near the grindstone.

Why are there are no love songs about the pleasures of a pleasant perch? No “Hey There, La-Z-Boy“? I’m willing to bet that behind every successful man is a lounger. My dad and I never had that talk. He never sat me down to tell me how great it was that we just sat down.

When I meditate in my chair I die to all the thoughts bossing me around. Carpe diem, mañana. No need to take life over, I can take life in. Meditation puts me firmly in the moment. How little I need to be happy. The green chair is just what I needed. Greenie gives me permission to slow down. All my life I’ve been striving to get somewhere. In my chair I know I’m already there. Aah.

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