I am a monk. I am a tree. I am the ocean washing up against the shore on an August afternoon. I am a seashell on that shore, snug and cozy in the sand. I am a grain of that sand. I am a molecule in that grain of sand. I am a building block of life, of existence, of matter. I matter.
I open my eyes and we are still on slide seven. I still want to stand up on the conference table and rip the projector right out of the ceiling. Not that it would do me any good. We all have printed copies of the presentation.
What were some of the other ones the teacher told us to try before our next session?
Peace? Peace and nature, something, something. Forest? Redwood? Skip that one.
Be. Yes, be. Be in the meeting. Be in the moment. Be in the room. Be in the chair. Be in my shirt. Be in my shoes. Be with all my being and be calm.
After coughing conspicuously a couple times I excuse myself to go to the restroom, and while I’m out I leave for the day. The only mantra I need in my life costs nothing, unlike the $199 I wasted on those introductory meditation classes run by my agency’s fitness center that my supervisor encouraged me at my mid-year performance review to sign up for. My mantra is foolproof, and it’s only two words long: sick leave.
Editor’s note: The author promised us that he was going to finish the rest of this story, but while we were meeting with him last week he excused himself to use the restroom and has not yet returned.