Vallium and zen

zenI’ve started meditating. I spend approximately 1/5th of my adult life starting meditating. Hopefully one of these days it’ll stick.

I first started when I was a teenager, mum had a ‘teach yourself yoga’ book which lay about the house. I picked it up, started doing the occasional asana on the days I was off school / the days I couldn’t be bothered to go into school (by my mid teens these were many). On the occasions I bother to look, I’ve got fond memories of dipping into that tatty book, hidden inside in the autumn and winter sun, hiding from school.

Hiding at home, making bad soup, stretching and meditating and having the occasional confused, fierce wank.

I dropped off the habit, after a while. Possibly when we got an internet connection and I discovered I could have more and more confused and fierce wank sessions.


So it’s been on and off. A bit at Leeds uni, a stretch of a few months once in Leytonstone. Then short bursts. I feel good when I do it, but it’s a habit thing. New habits are hard to make, old ones hard to break.

I didn’t make it back to university.

I mean, I did, on Monday. But then Monday evening was all sleep and gloom and I woke myself on Tuesday with a loud yelp. Knot in my stomach. Some things are not worth risking and a relapse is high on that list. So I’m back off.

Today the GP acceded to giving me some diazepam; it’s sometimes hard work getting a dose but I only want a few to ease me back into normal life. University – once a place I loved going, loved learning, was excited and fired up about – now this place of fear and fright. Fierce memories can overshout all else, fierce recent memories can glare, blinding. I’m fine. But my body and brain still shiver and freeze. A few benzodiazepines will hopefully sort me out.

And mediation.

Hopefully this time I can stick with it. Hopefully this time the fear of a relapse is strong enough, the fear of fear strong enough.


The yoga book mum had was in some ways gloriously batshit. One of the reasons I kept with it was the promises of levitation and telekinesis that it contained. Meditate long enough and you get superpowers.

Shut up, I was 15 and stressed. I wanted superpowers.

Zen buddhism also promises similarly batshit stuff, but it’s more hidden. 17 year old me, complete hippy tho he was, was drawn to the simplicity of zen. I think, deep inside me, I recognised something that would help.

Because I kept coming back; back to buddhism, to zen. I kept coming back to meditation.

There’s a lot more to zen buddhism than meditation. There are precepts in buddhism which I look and and, deep inside, know would be helpful. But there’s the old plea – make me pure, but not yet.

Meditation seems an easy start. If only I could stop starting and keep going.




2 thoughts on “Vallium and zen

  1. I was going to write on your post the other day, “have you considered yoga, meditation or changing your diet”? I never got round to it, sorry.

    Yoga has REALLY worked for me. I can’t sit still long enough to meditate but I think about giving it a go lol. One day, I might not be so scared as to try it.

    Good luck 🙂

  2. I really like the insight timer app for meditation. I know, I know, using an app for meditation, but somehow I find it really motivating to see the stats it keeps. Like it’s giving me gold stars 🙂 I’ve managed to keep at it for five months which is a record for me.

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