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‘When was the last time you had a decent heartjob?’ asks Nick Coyle when we meet before one of his ‘Guided Meditation’ sessions at the Edinburgh Fringe. ‘What’s a heartjob?’ I ask. ‘Great question,’ he replies. ‘A heartjob is when you pleasure your heart so intensively serenity shoots everywhere. Sounds like fun, right? Well, newsflash! That’s meditation.’
Coyle’s new show is one of the most relaxing comedy gigs I’ve ever experienced. For a start, the entire audience are lying on rugs and cushions on the floor. Then, with a slow, soothing voice, the Aussie comic gives instructions on how to become truly calm and ‘embrace your spirit animal’. It’s all very silly, and laughing while horizontal is a strange new experience.
Coyle’s now bringing his relaxation techniques to London to help stressed-out laughter-lovers. To give an idea of his meditation methods, the Australian guru talked me through the essential stages to achieving serenity. ‘By following these four easy steps,’ he says, ‘not only can you learn to meditate, you can reduce the amount of time you cry in the toilet at work by up to 34 percent.’
‘Walk backwards until you find a wall. Slowly slide down it until you’re on the floor. Turn off your phone. If you’re driving, let your hands slip from the wheel – the car knows the way. If you’re carrying a baby, throw it into the sky. If you’re operating on someone, let the scalpel slip from your fingers and snuggle down beside them. Close your eyes, open your heart, cut off your ponytail, set your beard on fire. Fingers in the mouth, and let’s begin.’
‘Focus on your breathing. Imagine your breath is Santa Claus: if you don’t breathe him down your chimney deep enough, the kids won’t get presents. (The “kids” are your kidneys.) Feel your breath rejuvenating your body like springtime, waltzing over the barren tundra of your subconscious, waking up all the hibernating flowers and giving them each a piping hot mug of coffee and a handjob. When all the flowers are satisfied, allow yourself to stop breathing.’
‘Does anyone know what time it is? Look at your watch. It’s gone because “time” doesn’t exist any more. Look at your wrist, it’s become a duck’s wing because you’re a duck now because, that’s right, it’s Visualisation Time.
‘Ever seen a stressed-out duck? Me neither. They are the chillest of all creatures; you would be too if you could swim, float, strut, fly, and you had a corkscrew vagina. The eggs you’re sitting on represent your hopes and dreams. In your own time, picture yourself stamping on those eggs.
“Why are you killing us, mother?” they ask. “Because you guys are holding me back, that’s why,” you tell them. Congratulations: you’re finally living in the moment. You’re so happy you quack until your head explodes, showering your internal organs with glitter, peace and feathers.
‘Now you’re becoming so severely relaxed you gradually stop being able to understand human words. You’re feeling awf and kweeble, but quaffly bleem kr8ra ad$ dimbledongkronk.’
‘Come to the show. Namaste!’