If you enjoyed the last blog about the Frank Sinatra method of meditation for beginners, also known as the meditation of six things, here is a guided meditation.
Long term readers (hello, if you would like a badge email me your snail address) may be aware that I am unable to stay very serious for very long. Yes I know this is a serious subject but it’s me.
Looking all over the Internet for the meditation of six things, which I cannot recall first finding, or where I found it, but not, it turns out, the Internet, I found plenty of guided meditations. Here, to help you relax and switch off, people ring bells at you and tell you what to think, which obviously I’m going to have a go at.
There is a slight drawback which is that this site is not noise enabled. Even if it could be, I wouldn’t. This is for readers, a dwindling tribe of very bright, very quiet people, my tribe, our lot.
So here’s the bell. Clang.
If you really want to meditate and don’t know how, part 1 is serious and does work, and will switch off your worries a treat. If you have practised you can now switch off your worries at will, (there must be money left in my account because I have got the plastic card in my hand) (ice cream cannot have any calories in it because it melts, look), and must be ready for a little light relief.
I have studied the guided meditations carefully, they just tell you what to think, take you through it, and then ring bells.
Are you sitting comfortably? If not fetch another chocolate bar and a cardi.
Start off by breathing, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. (repetitive, I know but you get that with breathing.)
I am going to describe six things I can see.
Looking between the pillars I can’t see much at all. There is quite a lot of sand blowing about. It’s a sandstorm really. In fact it’s just yellow out there. Breathe out.
Rushing up the steps is a cat. The cat is black with white paws. The cat has stopped on the top step because it has seen me. The cat is licking its front leg and now it is spitting with its tongue out because its leg is covered in sand. The cat has probably come in from the library, now it is heading off in the direction of the kitchen.
Coming from the direction of the kitchen is Djosa, a fan bearer. She is wearing a linen shift dress and dragging six fans, I can see from here that the bottom fan is broken, it is shedding feathers. The cat has got one of the feathers and is running away with it. Now Djosa has dropped the fans and is chasing the cat.
I can see a pile of fans. The fans have long handles with gold paint which has worn off, mostly. The top fan has the expensive turquoise paint on the handle, it’s made with ground lapis. The feathers are very large, the ones on the outside ring are in two colours, where they fit into the central boss they are white and round the edge they are dark blue. I don’t know what bird they are from. Maybe they’re imported.
I can see Djosa again, with a feather. To be exact with a broken feather and an annoyed expression. Now I can see Djosa picking up the fans. Three more feathers have fallen out, the workshops are going to be busy, if they don’t get them mended before the Inundation they’ll never get done, not that it matters because it’ll be cooler anyway.
What else can I see? I can see a table, it has lion legs and on the top, which is covered with scrolls, I know there are lotus patterns. It’s half behind the pillar, so if I am only describing what I can see, I can see half a table, with two lion legs ending in gold feet.
Six things I can hear. Well I can hear the sandstorm. Everyone can. It sounds like roaring then it changes direction and sounds like whistling, now it’s roaring again. I’m just glad I don’t have to go out in it.
I can hear someone shouting and the noise of metal being thrown. Oh here comes the cat with something in its mouth, chased by the cook with an empty pan that clangs on the pillar because the cook isn’t looking where she is running, she’s just trying to catch the cat. She doesn’t, what she catches is sight of me, sitting quietly. She stops, she bows, now I can hear the pan clanging on the ground, then she prostrates, then she gets up, with difficulty because she is fat (never trust a thin cook, what are they feeding you?) and chases after the cat, who is long gone. Silently.
It’s gone quiet again. Ooh, I can hear a little lizard running up the pillar in front of me. I can just hear its little sticky feet.
I can still hear the sandstorm. That’s the problem with sandstorms, you can’t really hear anything else.
It’s quieter in here. Shall I send for a musician, or is that cheating? Can I say I can’t hear musicians in detail? There’s a new young one who plays a lute. He is an apprentice. Absolute rubbish with sweaty fingers. He tries so hard. It’s an easy job but he makes it sound difficult. He makes it sound like an Ibis being strangled.
I can hear my skirt rustle. The linen is soft, it’s the gold embroidery that makes the noise.
Six things I can smell.
Easy, there’s the river, all year round, every day and all night. Why anyone would build a palace so near to a river I cannot imagine. I know we have to get the drinking water out of it, I know that it’s less work for the workers, I know we need the water for the crops, I know it’s a benefit for the Inundation to come up to the steps, I know it makes it easier for the priests to bless the water. But. The smell! I know the Inundation is the smell of the country’s prosperity. I know. I was taught it from being a child, but can no one smell it like I do?
I’m supposed to be thinking calmly. I can smell…cooking coming from the kitchens. It’s the sickly smell of that barley porridge again.
I can smell…my own perfume. What a relief. It smells like flowers, I love it. I have bottles sealed with resin to go in my tomb. You never know what the Elysian fields might smell of, if it’s eternity I’d like to smell nice forever.
I’m not supposed to be describing things I can hear but there is a loud clanging noise approaching. It sounds like someone hitting a marble floor with a frying pan. Repeatedly.
Oh, here comes the cat straight up the steps and under my chair. I’ll just rearrange my skirt.
Do I look as if I have seen a cat, just sitting here calmly? Yes you can prostrate yourself all you like, I don’t have to tell you. Yes, off you go, you and your noisy pan.
Things I can smell. Hmm. Fish. Now why would that be?
Six things I can feel. The cushion on this chair is very lumpy. I wonder what it is stuffed with? If it’s camel hair it was a very old, very stiff camel.
I can feel the embroidery round the back of my legs, squashed by the chair leg. Gold thread might look great but it’s metal, you know, hard, like a frying pan, and I’m supposed to wear it. I’d like to see the priests wearing a frying pan, I really would.
The sandstorm has died down, I can feel a cool breeze. I can also feel the sweat running down the back of my neck where the wig lining is tight.
I can feel the edge of the book roll, which I’m sitting on. I’m meant to be reading it this afternoon, not sitting meditating, but it is so hot. I don’t feel like translating Greek when it’s hot. I just don’t. I think I’ll put the book on the floor and pick up the cat.
Come on, you come up here with me. Now I can feel cat fur. There. Settle down. I’ll tell you what I feel like. I feel like a nap. You too? Why not? There. Nice cat. You’re safe with me, if the cook tries to get you we’ll feed her to the crocodiles.
I do feel sleepy. We both do.