One night this week I sat at the dining room table to oversee Iris Uber Alles's homework. Usually the Sober Husband is in charge of nagging eight year-old Iris to do her homework and practice the piano, so he was at loose ends, for once with nothing to do while I performed the nagging duties. He drifted off with five year-old Lola.
After a while, I heard a lot of giggling from the next room, which eight year-old Iris and I loftily ignored. Finally the Sober Husband called, "Look at us! Look at us!"
We looked. They were sitting cross-legged next to each other on the couch, hands on their knees with palms-up, pretending to meditate with blissed-out expressions.
We all have our own personal source of authority upon meditation in this home. I once meditated with the Dalai Lama (okay, it was in a crowd of thousands at a speech given by his Holiness, but it was still magical. You could have heard a pin drop while we all meditated; not a person whispered or fidgeted). Lola saw Pee Wee Herman pretend to meditate on an old "Pee Wee's Playhouse" episode. And Iris somehow learned the Right Way To Meditate at her school and will brook no differences. She swept into the room and corrected her father and little sister authoritatively. "You have to put your foot up here! And your other foot here! You're doing it all wrong!"
As Iris fruitlessly tugged at her father and Lola, trying to push them into proper lotus position, I tried to reason with her. "The Dalai Lama says you don't have to sit in any special position. You can sit any way you like."
"Well, the Dalai Lama was wrong!" Iris said acidly.
oh i bet there's a lot of things the Dalai Lama could learn from Iris.
I am reminded of that line from A Fish Called Wanda...
The central message of Buddhism is not "every man for himself."
Who says kids don't come with attachments?
I can't meditate. My attention span is precisely 47 seconds long, which cuts out a lot of possible activies.
I never once said that the Dalai Lama was wrong about anything, but I'm just glad that this wasn't about what I thought it was when I looked at the title.
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