Walking Cross Town. With Woo Woo.

It’s a blank screen.

At the bottom of the iPhone, there’s a Start arrow symbol: >

Below the arrow, is a timer.


My finger hovers over the arrow. Oh, for God sakes DK, it’s only 9 minutes. How difficult can this be?

P: “As we get started, settle yourself in a comfortable position.”  Her voice is soothing. Or seductive? Jesus, DK, focus.

The Pacifica app’s headline: “Reduce Stress. Feel Happier.” “Apple’s Best of 2017…psychologist designed tools for mindfulness meditation, relaxation, and mood/health tracking.” Only you DK, only You, can get anxious in front of a Meditation exercise designed to reduce the same. 

P: “Sit on a chair or a cushion on the floor…If you feel comfortable doing so, close your eyes…” (Long Silence)

This pilgrimage isn’t to Mecca, not to the Wall in Jerusalem, and not with Him upstairs. But a prayer to the new God. My palms cradle my Smartphone, and the glowing screen feeds me.  I was off on the last leg of David Rome‘s journey: As we grow from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, eventually our most fundamental relationship becomes the inner relationship with ourselves.

P: “Start by noticing your natural rhythm.  Become aware of your inhales and exhales. Simply let yourself breathe…” (Long Silence)

My eye lids twitch. The right hand fidgets, then the left. How much of this 9 minutes is left? Don’t look DK, don’t do it.

P: “If you find your mind wandering, that’s ok. Just notice that it happened. Just think to yourself, my mind wandered. And then go back to focusing on your breath.” (Long Silence)

The mind floods with the schedule for the day. Meetings. Past dues. Delays. Deliverables. The Addiction to Next. To Busyness. Turning it over and over and over. And then the beatings start. If you find your mind wandering, that’s ok? That’s OK? How can this be OK? Focus on my breathing? I’m puffing like I’ve run three blocks. And I can’t sit still for 9 minutes. 9 minutes! Really? Can’t sit still, can’t be Quiet with Nothing for 9 minutes. Wow.

I’m at the cross-walk waiting for the light to turn. I flip through my news feeds, and stop to read this post:

“These days, Gates meditates two or three times a week, with each session lasting about ten minutes…’For me, it has nothing to do with faith or mysticism,’ he wrote. ‘It’s about taking a few minutes out of my day, learning how to pay attention to the thoughts in my head, and gaining a little bit of distance from them.’ The Microsoft founder was first inspired to meditate after discovering Headspace, an app that offers guided practices…”

I re-read the passage. This time slower. I re-grip the iPhone, a syringe pump easing the elixir into the bloodstream. These Words, softening, dissolving the chatter.

Bill Gates. IQ of 160. Net worth of $96 Billion.

Bill Gates and Me. Look at that. Simpatico.

OK DK.  You’ll be OK.

Gif: Nova


  1. I got to the wall in Jerusalem and burst out laughing my phone ended up on the other side of the room!

    I don’t “meditate” either. Just can’t do it.

    You take your phone out to flip through the news at the crosswalk?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You, my friend, give new meaning to the expression ‘monkey mind.’ Just sayin…. and for what it’s worth, I have always failed miserably every time I try to meditate, which is, I am sure, precisely the reason I should be doing it. Sigh…. Happy CALM Saturday!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I so know how you feel David. Started using Headspace a couple of months ago. Whilst I do find it very hard, I know that it is helping me to calm down, and along with some Buddhist thinking it helped me to rethink how I am living my life. I find it best to do it in bed before I get up in the morning. I guess that might be hard for you as you are up and out as some unearthly hour?! The breathing, that’s the thing. Something you know you can always come back to (God willing!). Keep it up sand and let us know how you get on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. . . . our most fundamental relationship becomes the inner relationship with ourselves.”

    Well, that explains a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Very interesting!! … this app is for real? Awesome!! Love the GIF!!


  6. Gosh, I totally lost it reading your tale…. But the best bit is that I have advice to offer! 😉

    These days, Gates meditates two or three times a week, with each session lasting about ten minutes…’For me, it has nothing to do with faith or mysticism,’ he wrote. ‘It’s about taking a few minutes out of my day, learning how to pay attention to the thoughts in my head…

    I don’t need a device, as my thoughts have all blxxxy night to gain my attention, and they have all the distance of reality they want, like from the earth to the moon and back… LOL

    And furthermore, you list all the reasons why I never learned to meditate, to do yoga, to calm down – in those 9′ I would have read a book! Yesterday I travelled from Paris to Switzerland, the Parisian train schedule was disrupted due to a spontaneous walk-out of the drivers (one driver was verbally aggressed at 05h38 and for the next 24h only 1 in 2 trains would be available…. yes, this is France, you don’t need a Jupiter for that), there were tons of ppl waiting for the few trains, I was so squashed up with my tiny suitcase, a rucksack and my handbag that I couldn’t even reach to my book – it was sheer agony!!!!

    Anyway, wishing you and all your readers a peaceful, quiet, well composed (physical and psychical) day, I need to run around the block to calm down a bit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s why it’s called a “practice” not perfection. You’re doing fine!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve had a former student come back as a guest speaker for the past few semesters and lead my students through a guided meditation. The students love it (admittedly it’s much better than another accounting class), and afterward I say to myself that I’m going to start meditating every day. Sadly, the next time I meditate is usually the next time he comes back to visit my classes. Maybe your post is the motivation I need…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so funny, David! You are really at your best when sharing the inner workings of your thoughts. Now we’re all inside your head with you, and you really have your work cut out for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re braver than I am, DK. These days I have so much trivia in my head I don’t know my own name sometimes. I would find meditation (and my failure at it) very stressful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your experience with meditation is universal! Your honesty is beautiful. Here’s the deal. No matter if you are on a diet, working out at the gym, learning a language or running a new business. Do you try it once and say “oh that’s too hard” “Far too difficult?” Did Bill Gates or Tony Robbins or Michael Angelo, Mary Oliver stop at their first try? The trouble is you haven’t done it long enough to experience the other side….Its like living on a tropical island where I learn I everything I have ever wanted, it’s empowering, positive, life changing, it’s the aliveness of everything in life. . Keep practising Mr K 🙏🏻

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Jedi mind tricks –

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Smiling … Headspace is a good app. May it be the door to more 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I feel your pain David. I’ve tried Meditation with about the same results, but have had better luck with guided imagery–(youtube has tons)–especially ones where they have me walking on a beach with waves in the background music. Think of it as meditation with training wheels. To just sit and empty my thoughts and breath doesn’t work well for me. Even the guided imagery isn’t always smooth sailing, but I do it at night and often fall asleep, which is great! Don’t give up, but don’t beat yourself up when it’s not happening the way you wish. Best Wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I remember reading “If you have don’t have time to take 15 minutes to meditate, then take one hour” Or something like that. Point being we must learn to take some time for/with ourselves. I’ve tried various apps, including Head Space and Arti Wu’s Preside Meditation. I’m hoping one day I’ll actually get to the point where I start every day like this, instead of stumbling down the stairs, eyes bleary, making my first cup of wake-up.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I had to go to a chiropractor earlier this year. Stiff neck. He worked on me a couple times and suggested I get a massage before seeing him. To loosen me up a little.
    So for a few sessions, his assistant would give me a massage for 30 minutes, concentrating on my neck and shoulders. Then I would go in to see him.
    I guess about the third time, he laid me on the table after my massage, and started to make his adjustment.
    “Relax” he said.
    “Relax?” I thought. I’d just had a 30 minute massage and he is telling me to relax.
    And that’s when I noticed it. I was wound up like an atomic alarm clock. I was so tense laying there I could hardly even breathe. I let out my breath and tried to relax.
    “That’s better” he said.
    So it makes me wonder what I am really like “at rest”. I like to think of myself as happy, kind and patient. I like to think I’m smart.
    But where do I fall on a sliding scale on any of those things unless I consciously give it my best effort?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve been gone a long time. Came back today after saying good-bye to my cat, Henry. Needing your humanness to help me hold this grief. So glad you’re still here.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Can’t add much, only mindfulness is a process. Go easy with yourself but don’t give up.
    Btw had to hunt you down. Your posts have utterly disappeared from my feed! Maybe you really are more off the grid than you realize! 🤣❣️

    Liked by 1 person

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