3:50 AM: Bolt upright in bed, aware that this is the Hour of
Brahman; the perfect time to meditate, in the early morning
before sunrise. Feel bliss and gratitude, knowing that the
Universal energy has roused you for this purpose, that it
will be a beneficial start to a beautiful day.
AM: Fall deeply back asleep, snoring loudly.
AM: Alarm clock sounds. There's still time to chant and
meditate this morning. Just 10 more minutes in bed and...
AM: Damn, you think, as you glance at the clock after cat
steps on your face.
AM: Open cat food cans and sift litter while chanting first
of 3 rounds of 27 mantra repetitions as prescribed by your
guru. Continue chanting while toileting, showering, and
dressing for the gym.
AM: Lose count of mantras as loud hair-ball hacks from cat
distract you from spiritual practices. In-between new
repetitions, wolf down coffee and breakfast while standing
AM: Continue chanting while checking e-mail for
inspirational postings on the spiritual list-server you
AM: Only 15 minutes left for meditation before training
appointment. Chant several rounds of "Om" and
perform alternate nostril breathing. Rationalize that, since
you took a stress reduction class yesterday, it's okay to
meditate less today.
AM: Eyes remain wide open. Realize that caffeine and
meditation don't mix.
AM: Finally, you're in a very good space. You'll be a little
late to the gym. Your trainer, a martial artist and former
Buddhist, will understand.
AM: Phone jangles; client has an emergency. Assure her
you'll call back later. Promise yourself you'll sit for
meditation again first, lest you be tempted to kill her.
AM: Leave for the gym. Step in cat's hairball mess on the
AM: Change sneakers, clean up, wave incense to purify
atmosphere/cover stink of cat vomit. Make Reiki symbols on
self, cat, and entire apartment.
AM: Run back upstairs to put out still-buring incense stick.
AM: Greet trainer with hands together in "namaste"
and slight bow. Discuss relative benefits of Tai Chi vs.
Yoga during workout.
AM: Read InStyle on the treadmill, wishing you'd brought
along Yoga Journal or Shambala Sun instead.
AM: There's an article in this issue about Richard Gere and
the Dalai Lama. Thank the Universe for the gift.
AM: Return to 7 urgent messages on your machine from the
client who called earlier. Aggravatedly chant mantra 27 more
AM: Sit for meditation.
AM: After five minutes of meditating on the client's needs,
phone her instead. Hang up on her. Shout mantra 27 more
AM: Call spiritual friend to berate yourself for having lost
your yogic detachment.
Noon: Lunch. Hold hands above food and say healing mantras
11 times before eating. Thank the soul of the chicken for
giving up its body so that you can have food. Eat mindfully,
thanking the Universe for filling your stomach and your
senses. Wolf down chocolate bar for dessert -- made blessed
and thus guilt-free by offering it up before photo of your
PM: Work. Try to see your work as selfless service. Try not
to curse each time client calls. Try not to bust an artery
over how much you hate your job. Try not to type the mantra
into your ad copy as you attempt to chant it and write about
laundry detergent at the same time. Try not to get up and
dance to the Sufi Dervish Dancing CD playing in the
PM: Take an Oprah break to "remember your spirit."
Guest star Suze Orman talks about attracting abundance.
Cool. She's really spiritual.
PM: Decide it's not the quantity of time you put into your
work, it's the quality. Spend the next hour meaning to read
a book of affirmations as you thumb through last Sunday's
New York Times Arts & Leisure section instead.
PM: Start thinking about dinner. Decide it would be sattvic
-- pure and light and balancing -- to eat a salad tonight.
PM: Realize you have half a steak left in the fridge. Slice
it up and throw it into your sattvic salad.
PM: Skip tonight's Sufi Dervish Dancing class in favor of
being home at 9 to catch a very special Ally McBeal.
PM: Call to leave messages on friends' answering machines to
apologize for not meeting them at class. They all stayed
home, too, though, so chat for the next hour. Know that in
doing so you are having satsang, the company of seekers,
that the Universe wants you to be gentle with yourself, and
that it's okay to stay home and watch TV sometimes, because
everything pulsates with Cosmic Consciousness.
PM: Time for dessert. You've been doing so many intense
practices, and sweets are grounding.
PM: Boy, you think, that Calista Flockhart looks like she
could use some of this Ben 'n Jerry's. Berate yourself for
that thought. Then remember to be compassionate towards
yourself as well as Calista Flockhart. Remember that
thoughts are as fleet as the wind, and everything is
unfolding as it should. Snarf down another spoonful of
PM: You're exhausted from expending so much energy on the
path to enlightenment. Promise yourself that, since you're
going to bed early, you'll get up early to do your
PM: Go online once more to check performance of your
socially responsible investment fund. It's down. Make note
to call broker about Phillip Morris.
PM: Fall asleep reading Be Here Now.
by Carol L. Skolnick. All rights reserved. Distribution via
hyperlink, e-mail, disk, print, or any other form is
prohibited under U.S. copyright law without express
permission of the author.