Soothing? Not so much. Relatable? Very.
But, just like eating vegetables or working out or creating a budget plan or literally anything else that’s good for us, some folks don’t enjoy the act of meditation. Maybe it’s having to sit still for that long, or having to listen to one of those affected “spiritual” voices (which are almost always Australian—why?), or because it feels a tad too woo-woo or because it never feels like you’re doing it correctly. The list goes on and on.
If you fall into this category, then you may find talk show host Kelly Ripa’s not-so-Zen take on meditation super relatable—not to mention laugh-out-loud funny.
In a video posted to her Instagram, we see Ripa, unable to stop giggling, sitting beside friends Jan Schillay Wiener and Albert Bianchini as Bianchini attempts to start an audio-guided meditation. (Key word: attempts.)
The ethereal meditation voice barely gets out, “Find a quiet place to sit down,” before Ripa, already lying down, declares, “Already, I hate it!” and asks if there’s a voice with a British accent.
“Or Australian!” quips Wiener. (See? Everyone expects an Australian accent. Why??)
Another clip appears—presumably Take #2—showing Bianchini, eyes closed in proper meditation pose, silent, while Ripa and Wiener fall into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
“Be quiet!” Bianchini shouts. But it is futile. The rest of the video shows poor Bianchini trying his damnedest to reach serenity as Ripa and Wiener’s antics ensue. Doing exercises, throwing on Star Wars helmets, just general buffoonery.
“Good job, Albert, that was fantastic,” Ripa says sarcastically as the failed mediation comes to a close.
“The two of you, bunch of f–ing a–holes,” says Bianchini. Though he is also laughing, so we can assume this is all in good fun.
Ripa is certainly not alone in her attitude toward mediation. Folks who watched the clip couldn’t help but commiserate.
“This is EXACTLY how I do meditation 😅 I keep trying!” one person commented.
Another added, “These are my ppl 😂👏👏 #cantdoit.”
Others were just applauding Bianchini for his relentless patience (perhaps from all the mediation?).As one person put it: “LMAO I can't stop laughing and yes we need Albert in our lives ❤️.”
Even if you do find yourself feeling more like Ripa when it comes to meditation, the good news is there are plenty of mindfulness approaches that can increase your well-being without feeling like a horrendous kindergarten quiet time session. There are movement-based meditations, like ecstatic dance, walking, yoga, tai chi…heck, even working out can be considered meditation by slowing down and infusing each exercise with awareness.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, applying slowness can make even the most mundane everyday task into a meditative ritual. Slowly stepping into the shower, consciously picking your socks for the day, taking your time to sip that morning coffee, etc.
Creativity is another approach. Whether it’s carving out the time to journal, collage, write poems, organize the fridge magnets or just perform a living room karaoke solo, simply making art in one way or another can be immensely therapeutic.
The point being: The opportunity to gain the benefits of meditation are fully available to us in a variety of ways. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. As we see hilariously demonstrated in the above scenario, one person’s idea of meditation is another person’s idea of torture. But truly, whatever gets us to a peaceful place without harming others is a completely acceptable strategy.