Corrections to Last Week’s Guided Meditation

During last week’s guided meditation, I incorrectly said to breathe deeply, when I meant to say to take a deep breath. Just one breath, not many deeply inhaled breaths.

When I told you to sigh quietly, that was redundant. The typical sigh is quiet. As a result, you may have actually sighed too quietly for it to register as an effective part of your meditation.

For one of the times when I said exhale, I meant inhale. I did not mean to instruct you to do double exhales. Please take an extra inhalation now to reset your breaths.

When I said count to ten in your head, it should have been count from ten. The duration of time would have been the same, but would not have left you in such an agitated sense of escalation.

When I said, “Clear your mind of all thoughts,” I know just as little about what that would be as you do. By all means, think as much as you want, just don’t go overboard with it is all.

Overall, I went a little too heavy on, “Bring your focus back to your breath.” You can disregard about twelve of those.

During the body scan in our guided meditation, I forgot to call attention to our hands. Call attention to them now, by just knowing you have hands, and hey, there they are at the end of your arms.

When I said to make a gentle hum, I knew it was a bad move right after I said it. The moment was so not one that called for a hum, gentle or otherwise. And I could tell by the looks on some of your faces that you knew it too. Even worse, my own hum sounded like a “mmm-mmm,” like I just ate something yummy, which is a sound we use rarely in guided meditations, except for advanced meditations that no one here is ready for.

I used, “Take a breath,” and, “Make a breath,” interchangeably, even though, “Make a breath,” sounds confusing. The confusion was intentional and you benefited from it.

All that stuff I was saying about positive brain pulses and neural-attainment flow has absolutely no basis in scientific fact. But we just love hearing that kind of neuroscience-sounding jargon, don’t we? It really activates the pathways of the frontal brain vents.

I forget if I told you to be at one with the universe. I don’t want to issue that guidance now, though, because I don’t want to double your connection with the universe if I already said it. But your mindfulness is certainly lacking without it. So we’re just in a bind with that one.

When I said to shake, shake, shake your sillies out, I should have followed it up with, “And wiggle your waggles away.” I regret the error.

When I said, “Open your eyes to your emotions,” some of you opened your eyes for real when you shouldn’t have. After which the people who kept their eyes closed and the people who opened them experienced very different journeys. If you were one of the people who opened their eyes, please see me after class and I will deprogram you from this radical eyes-open meditation you endured.

When I said to let go of negative feelings, that should have been to let go of positive feelings. You know, so you don’t get too full of yourself.

In my reference to connecting to your ancestors, I of course meant good ancestors. Not ones who owned slaves, or fought on the wrong side in World War II. I meant ancestors who were peasants, and stick-gatherers, or simple wanderers and cave dwellers. You can’t go wrong connecting with them.

At one point, I asked you to feel as though you are floating like a bird. This was against my longstanding practice of not using animals as vehicles for humans practicing mindfulness. The fact is, you’ll never experience the bliss of a worm in dirt or even a maggot in a carcass, let alone a bird in flight.

At the conclusion of the meditation, I used a singing bell chime app instead of the real singing bell. Big deal, OK? The bell was all the way across the other side of the room. I’m only making this correction because a few of you saw me do it.

When I said to imagine a state of nonexistence, I should have phrased it in a way that doesn’t sound like death. After all, what are we doing this for but to distract ourselves from death, right?

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