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Because hippies can’t be wrong about EVERYthing

I would have liked to’ve been a musician. But at some point in my teens, I plateaued at a place that really wasn’t good enough and figured I’d hit the limit of my talents. I’ve just widdled around and played for fun ever since.

A year or so ago, I decided to see if I could push back the boundaries a little. I started practicing, not necessarily for long periods, but in a focused and disciplined way. And, um…sonofa bitch. Practice works. I can almost hear new neural pathways sprouting like potatoes. I’ll never be great, but is sure does scratch an old itch.

I never knew until recently, reading up on it, how many hours the average professional musician puts into practicing. I had just assumed they were crazy talented. I know that’s a simple thing not to grasp until late middle age, but my universe includes whole galaxies of stupid.

So I started meditating. I figured if I could make new brain channels for difficult scales, I could practice being happy and get better at it. When I read that the US Marine Corps was looking into mindfulness training for stress reduction, I thought, “fuck yeah! It’s not just for hippies any more.”

And son-of-a-bitch! It works! The most tangible and measurable benefit is, I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in the hell that is insomnia. Most noticeably, it’s easier to fall back asleep in the morning after the light wakes me.

There’s a shit-ton of free stuff on the web, including guided meditation MP3s — very helpful at first. I started about the beginning of the New Year, twenty to thirty minutes every day (I miss some days). Basic mindfulness meditation, no chanting or anything. Just focusing on breathing mostly. And then sometimes, when monkeybrain is quiet, sneaking in some happy thoughts. Picturing my chickens running up to me. It’s a chicken-based meditation practice, basically.

So, anybody else want to cop to this? With or without chickens?

April 1, 2013 — 11:01 pm
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