Meditation Session, or Lost in Translation

By Sam Schmidt

Imagine your thoughts float past like leaves on a tranquil river, he says
But my mind is firmly indoors, pacing, stepping on thoughts like Legos.
Uniform lacks tranquility somehow. And what if he hates red and orange?
I guess the point is not to hate stuff. Or like it too much.
But – I must know – is there regulation underwear?
I would wear fancy underwear like a secret rebellion.
His bald head glints in the fluorescent lights of the conference room.
No hair allowed.
I’m officially disqualified.
Focus on your breath.
What if this is just a distraction?
A government invention. Prevents uprisings.
Be grateful to breathe.
Exactly! Poor and oppressed, but grateful
To breathe.
Oh my god, he looked at me.
I see the anger in the corners of his lips.
The ends of his words clipped like Bonsai tree branches.
He knows!
He knows about my only cursory interest in his mandala.
He knows I didn’t buy any wooden beads.
He knows about my secret rebellion.
And he’s pissed.
Which makes him a terrible Buddhist.
Which makes me an okay Buddhist by default (?)
I left the meditation session feeling oddly refreshed and rejuvenated.