The other day I was listening to a podcast, in which Oprah was interviewing Deepak Chopra on the subject of meditation. They spent some time talking about the well-established benefits of meditation, in addition to how Deepak himself practices daily. Though some Christians would criticize a practice of meditation as being “new age” or in some way counter to their faith, he explained how it is actually a vehicle we can use that allows our mind to be quiet enough to hear the voice of God. I enjoyed this part of the conversation, and as someone who started practicing yoga a little over a year ago, I can fully see the benefit of learning to turn down the background noise in order to pay attention to that “still small voice”.
Of the benefits that he himself experienced, he said that he had no one he needs to forgive, and he does not have any stress. When queried, Deepak told Oprah that he meditates for 2 hours in the morning, in addition to a half- hour to one hour in the afternoon. [insert record scratch sound]
OK, now I just have a lot of questions. I know Deepak probably doesn’t read my blog (YET!). However, I am still going to raise these questions directly to you, Deepak. I feel it will be the most direct way for me to try to get to the truth of the matter.
First of all, Deepak, you said that in order to meditate effectively one must be well-rested, or else one will find themselves falling asleep. This makes perfect sense. However, you then went on to tell us that you meditated from 4-6 AM every morning. This, for me, was the most troubling section of the podcast. Four in the morning, Deepak? Deepak, what is your bedtime? According to my calculations, this would mean that in order to get enough sleep to be adequately prepared for a 4 AM wake up call, you would have to get your peaceful butt in bed by 8 PM, maybe 8:30 at the latest.
And Deepak, if your bedtime is indeed between 8-8:30 pm, this raises a whole other set of questions for me. Like, when do you fold your laundry?
What time do you eat dinner? Are you one of those people that shows up at restaurants at 4:30 PM for the early bird special? I’m just asking because you know it’s not really good for your digestion to lie down to sleep right after dinner. So if you eat at 6:30 or 7 PM and then you have to go to bed an hour later, I’m just worried you’re going to get indigestion or something.
When do you watch Homeland and Breaking Bad and House of Cards and all those other swear-y TV shows that are inappropriate to watch in front of young children so you have to wait until they go to bed?
Speaking of children, when your kids were young, what time did they go to bed? Did you go to bed before them? When they were doing the bedtime stalling thing where they get up and down 17 times for water and one more hug and please close my closet door, and I’m scared and et cetera, did this interfere with your pre-meditation sleep sesh? What if they had a bad dream or puked in their bed in the middle of the night or something like that? This adequate rest + waking at 4 AM thing is not adding up for me. I feel confident that I could do either of those things individually, but not both at the same time. How do you do both, Deepak?
Do you ever hit snooze and skip the meditation in favor of sleep? If so, approximately how often does this happen?
Is coffee allowed at morning meditation?
I don’t know about you Deepak, but my children have this uncanny ability that causes them to know when I am awake. Maybe they are light sleepers simply responding to the faint creaking of the stairs underfoot, or perhaps something more calculated is occurring. Either way, I am quite certain I would have some inquires at some point along the lines of, “what are you doing mom?” If this happens, say, an hour into my two-hour session, do I have to start all over, Deepak? If I get agitated about my meditation getting interrupted by small people, does this negate the benefits for me? Can I still successfully meditate with two people watching me and asking me rapid-fire questions?
In regard to your afternoon meditation session, my question is this: Deepak, do you have a cloak of invisibility? Like the one from Harry Potter? If not, how do you get people to leave you alone for that length of time? How is it that no one interrupts you? I’m just asking because I myself have not had an uninterrupted shower in over a decade, and even attempts at defecation are, in the eyes of the people I live with, perfectly good opportunities to ask me questions such as, “Do you know what the weather is going to be like today?”, or “Can you toast me a bagel?”
Does lying on your side in the fetal position whilst seething with resentment count as “meditation”, Deepak? Asking for a friend.
I know you’re probably too busy to respond directly to my inquiries, Deepak, what with being a doctor, an author , a sought-after speaker, and a spiritual guru, in addition to your time-consuming meditation schedule. I think you would probably tell me to start with small increments of time and work my way up, and I think this is sound advice. So right now I am playing hide-and-seek with the family and I found a really good hiding spot, and I am being as quiet as I can. Hopefully this will last 3 whole minutes before someone finds me, so if the Divine voice has anything to say to me, He better do it quick. Full disclosure: I didn’t actually tell my family we were playing hide-and-seek. I just hid. Is that a good start, Deepak?
I admire you Deepak, I really do. Maybe one day you and I can meditate together, and you can show me how your cloak of invisibility works. Let’s do it at your house, OK? My house is a little crazy.