One of my favorite songs about meditation isn't sung by a chanting yogi or accompanied by Peruvian flute and birdsong, it's a song by Twenty One Pilots called Car Radio.
In the song, lead singer Tyler Joseph is lamenting the fact that the radio was stolen out of his car and now there is no diversion from the thoughts in his head.
"I'm forced to deal with what I feel
There is no distraction to mask what is real"
"'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence"
The song moves toward a crescendo of noise and sound and screaming until, suddenly, there's one beat of silence. A powerful stillness before the music begins again.
If you've ever tried to still your mind for meditation, you'll understand completely where Joseph is coming from. Once you close your eyes, all the thoughts rush in like a flood, trying to get your attention. It's often called monkey-mind as your thoughts screech and scream and yell, as self-doubt, even self-loathing, rises to the surface to play head games in your brain. As Joseph says, "Sometimes, quiet is violent."
But occasionally, as you sit and ignore those thoughts, there's a beat of powerful stillness. It might only be for a breath, but you notice because the voices are silent. The noise stops. There's peace. And then the voices start again, but maybe a little softer.
Meditation can be described as a combination wrestling match/blissful silence, but it's also a practice. As you practice, you'll find the silences become longer than the wrestling, and you'll find you can find stillness faster - even during those crazy days when you're in your car with no radio.
"I ponder of something great My lungs will fill and then deflate They fill with fire, exhale desire I know it's dire my time today
I have these thoughts, so often I ought To replace that slot with what I once bought 'Cause somebody stole my car radio And now I just sit in silence."
If you'd like help with a meditation practice, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Peri Kinder is a Happiness Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, Meditation Instructor and Humor Columnist.