“Just close your eyes & try to focus on the rhythm of your breathing. If a thought pops into your mind, simply try to acknowledge & accept that it is there.” said the instructor.
“Okay” said I.
“You have no chance chubby.” said my mind.
“Just shut the f**k up.” said I.
“What?” said the instructor.
“Sorry, I wasn’t talking to you.” said I.
“Try & concentrate on the sensations of your breathing. In & out. In & out.” said the instructor.
“You fat bastard, you fat bastard, you ate all the pies….” sang away my mind in the background.
“Focus & breathe. Bloody hell, my chest feels tight” thought I.
“Remember that time that you got drunk & fell into the lavender bush. What a bell-end…” said my mind.
“It wasn’t my fault, I was led astray.” I said in reply.
“Bollocks.” said my mind as it replayed a hazy memory of the event in my minds eye.
“Dan, just try & become more aware of the sensations of breathing, not the noises.” said the instructor joining into the conversation.
“Focus on the breathing. Forget the noises. Feel the breathing.” I said calmly to myself.
“Just imagine if someone farted right now.” said my mind.
“Really, do not go there.” I told my mind sternly.
“All you need to do is keep your attention on that feeling of your chest moving. Stay with that feeling. Draw the air deep into your lungs.” said the instructor.
“PAAAAAARRRRRRPPPP.” said my mind.
My mind was falling about in juvenile hysterics as I tried to maintain the external decorum of a Buddhist monk.
“Breathe, breathe, breathe. Just try & breathe…..” I said to myself as I could feel the tension build in my chest.
Instantly the inbuilt search-engine that is my mind, automatically scrolled for the search terms ‘Dan’ & ‘hilarious farting’. Faster than Google on a good day, my mind interpreted & displayed the results;
- Accidentally farting on someone whilst competing in judo groundwork.
- Someone farting during the Padre’s sermon & the RSM seriously not seeing the funny-side.
- My mate walking over to my desk & farting, only to suddenly realise that a female customer was waiting at the counter.
“Oh, wait, what is this? A hidden gem?” My mind was beside itself & before I had chance to react, it started to play a moment lodged deep in my memory…
Gunnery training camp on Salisbury Plain (circa 1988). Walking back into my brightly lit billet following a few pints of Wiltshire’s finest, to find one of the occupants lying on his bed, wearing a standard-issue pair of 1980’s boxer shorts, legs pulled back to his chest & Zippo cigarette lighter in his hand. Just as it dawned on me what he was doing, a large blue flame erupted from his cotton-clad nether regions. Before I had time to grin, the prostrate gunner discovered in that exact moment, that cotton boxers didn’t offer much fire retardancy.
Have you ever been thrown out of a meditation class? I have….