Friday, August 18, 2006


"Jai Guru Deva Om"
--John Lennon, "Across the Universe"

I used to think John Lennon was singing, "High, Grooooovy Dayyyyy....old man" in the song Across the Universe. I can be forgiven for thinking this because Lennon was the same man who wrote "I am the walrus, goo goo ga' joob." Later I learned that John was actually singing, "Jai Guru Deva Om" which roughly translates "Victory to Guru Dev." And Guru Dev was Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati -the guru of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who founded the Transcendental Meditation movement.

I suppose that doesn't mean much to most of you now, but back in the mid-70s you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who was sitting in a corner meditating using their own private TM mantra (that you could only get by attending one of their high-priced seminars). One of my brothers was into TM. Now he listens to Rush Limbaugh, so I don't think it led to inner peace.

I was never into TM. I couldn't afford the mantra. Years later, I did take a course in a local experimental college in creative guided meditation. The instructor taught us how to journey into an inner happy place that we created and surround ourselves with healing light. I could never quite get the hang of it because I kept moving furniture around in my happy place trying to make it more comfortable. I do remember having to go down lots of worn marble stairs to get to it (which may explain my recent nightmares).

Part of my problem with trying to meditate is trying to clear my mind of thoughts. Years of conditioning has instilled in me that a blank mind means you are an idiot. So as I sit to meditate, I catch myself thinking about not thinking which is thinking. And just when I think I'm not thinking, a stray thought streaks through my brain shaking it's private parts at my attempts not to think.

The only way I've really found to clear my mind of thoughts is watch reality television, and preferably something from the FOX Network. Dog the Bounty Hunter works pretty well, but it leaves me with this nagging desire to grow a mullet, scream "Mahalo" and menace the neighbors with a Costco-sized can of pepper spray.

Oh well, as John Lennon said, nothing's going to change my world and everybody has something to hide except for me and my monkey.

Meditate on that one.
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