Transcendental Meditation in the Dentist's Chair
I went through a severe David Lynch phase about a decade ago. More than his work, I was interested in his lifestyle - this seemingly esoteric guy gone moderate mainstream. It doesn’t matter how much of it was good branding. I knew that this is how I wanted to be perceived in the world.
One doesn’t have to dig too deep into the David Lynch mythos to understand his relationship with transcendental meditation. His book, Chasing the Big Fish, is an extremely seductive retelling of how he uses meditation to benefit his work. I do not believe I am unique in desperately needing ‘outside help’ to get a grip on my own work, and i’ve tried them all - booze, drugs, travel, solitude, fitness, God.
Transcendental Meditation - lovingly referred to as TM - is similar to Scientology in the sense that it promises unbeatable levels of happiness that exists just beyond the meat-space paywall. For the low-low price of several hundred dollars per session, you too can be as creative and cool as me.
Now, of course meditation is something you should do in the comfort of your own home - but with TM, you need to be taught. You need a mantra.
My assigned mantra is ‘shring,’ which is apparently one of the most common TM mantras. I am told you are given a mantra based on your age, but it slightly varies based on the teacher.
It’s also frowned upon to share your mantra. It lessens the effect.
I forgot and now it’s too late to backspace that section.
Anyways - meditation, right.
I always thought meditation was gay because nothing ever worked. Nothing happened. No eureka moment. I assumed I must either be a) stupid or b) doing it wrong, because I would never feel the refreshing sense of self-satisfaction as my twenty mindful minutes would elapse. I would just be tired, listless. It felt like waking up from a nap and staying groggy.
I started meditating again in the past year at the advice of some questionable right wing accounts on Twitter. Mishima frog avi guys. They said that nothing is supposed to happen and that’s how you know it works. You just sit there quietly and talk to your body and expect nothing.
I know it sounds stupid, but that perspective change really did work for me. They seem to be right about most things.
As soon as I stopped thinking about not-thinking, my ‘meditation practice’ started to ‘work.’ I felt calm, relaxed - less angry all the time. It was a refreshing change from the tense and cold demeanour i’ve been used to offering the world.
I’ve often said that the cringe California ideology of 'health nuts’ is a psyop against actually learning things that benefit you by making them seem so impossibly gay and retarded that there’s no way any normal person would want to do it.
Oh yeah, my point. The point of all this.
While i’ve sung the praises of the Monroe Institute and using hemisync, obviously there are times in which you will not be sitting with your Airpods pounding binaural beats into the back of your skull as a way to calm your lizard brain.
I sat in the dentist’s chair as the poor woman designated to deal with my teeth as they showed the result of 1000000 cigarettes and 1000000 cups of coffee, and yeah - I wasn’t feeling great. Not that i’m anti-dentist, but I certainly would prefer to avoid this type of intimacy with anyone.
I think that unless you have veneers, there is always some anxiety about keeping your mouth natural and its subsequent shortcomings. I can’t explain it but I know that it must be true.
What was I saying? Meditation? Dentist?
I laid back in the chair, repeating ‘shring - shring - shring’ in my head as my enamel is punished. I spit out globs of blood and thought - well, that wasn’t that bad. Through the power of meditation, i’ve managed to get through this dental cleaning.
That must mean that it works.