So I’m meditating these days, and though I haven’t yet learned to hover or see into the future, I’m seeing some good results. I’m calmer. My thoughts are more organized. My left eyebrow has stopped twitching uncontrollably. I sleep better. I’m even writing again.  

What’s meditating like? Have you ever had to unclog a sink with a plunger? You pump once or twice and then filthy water gurgles out of the drain with the hair or mouse or loose change or whatever was stuck in there. When it comes out, you don’t judge – you just watch and nod and think, “Well, that explains that.” Maybe you find a quarter you can take away, but mostly it’s junk and that’s okay.  

That’s meditation: learning that 99% of your thoughts are far less important than you think and you can let most of them go by to clear the way for the 1% that matter.  

I don’t follow any religious tradition for my meditation because I’m guessing God has better things to do than wash my brain. For me, it’s a strictly secular and biological thing: I sit, close my eyes, relax my muscles and breathing, and then imagine a repeating mantra in my head until twenty minutes are up.  

That mantra is “Meow Mix.”  

No, it isn’t. But a good one has one or two syllables and no distracting associations, so you can pick one of your own. It should have a kind of hum to it.  

When I do it, I mostly feel like I’m floating in a void watching random objects tumbling by like an explosion at my own personal mental Cracker Barrel. Sometimes thoughts will race through your head, and when that happens, you just let them go by and return to the mantra. Sometimes you doze off, and when that happens, you return to the mantra when you wake up.  

Sometimes nothing happens, and that’s fine, too. We can all use twenty minutes of nothing in our lives every now and then.