Can ‘spiritual indigestion’ be all that bad?

Thought I was dying Monday morning.  

Just finished eating a plateful of scrambled eggs, bacon and home fries, topped off with a honey bun, and had started in on a second cup of coffee when: “BAM.”  

Got a double dose of something wonderfully beautiful and frighteningly bad.  

Spiritual indigestion?  

Moments earlier, I had closed my eyes, letting go all thoughts, as I eased into the meditative state I often find sitting in the IKEA restaurant in my home town, Conshohocken, PA. I sit facing a wall of windows, some 40  to 50 feet high and five or six times that length. No one sees my face . I shut my eyes and commune with the “nothingness” that soothe and elevates the Spirit.  

I reach that state immediately. Unfortunately, I think the bacon I had eaten had reached a state of its own. Heartburn. At least, I hope it’s heartburn and nothing more serious. How can I explain it? You ever feel yourself “blacking” out after rising too quickly from a squatting position? How about leaning over to get something beneath a desk and then sitting straight up? All the blood goes to your head, and for a moment, you see “gray.” Some may even call it “seeing stars,” a fuzzy field of blotches right behind the closed eyelids. You get dizzy. Lose track of time and place. Feel mild panic, believing it will soon go away, but not totally sure.  

Now, throw in a tightness in the chest. One of those Gerd attacks. If you have acid reflux problems, you know what I mean. Feels like a fist is balling up inside, right in the chest area, scaring the daylights out of you because, if you’re like me, you think it could be the onset of a heart attack. I remember the first time this happened. Got a co-worker, Mary DeFusco, to take me to the emergency room with my then 18-month old son, Nicholas. (He’s 18 years old now.) Rested after seeing several doctors and a diaper change for Nick. Got really mad months later when my insurance carrier kept trying to say I had no emergency situation, but only indigestion. Fought like hell to make them see it was  an emergency, and finally won.  

I yield to Him

But on Monday, I feel “high” from being in a Spiritual Zone and “low” from the pain in my chest. Worse yet, is the heart beat. Never felt it beat so fast for such a long period. I mean, hefty, rock-the-boat type beats, which shake my hand as I pick up a cup and see liquid shaking inside.  

Mini-earthquakes are erupting inside of me, one frightening heart beat after another. I discard my coffee cup. Sit back and try to meditate. Trouble is, I’m already at the highest levels already! I’m engaged with Nirvana, similar to the “wakeful meditation” I felt while listening with eyes closed to a Dr. Michael Laitman speaking about the mysteries of the Kabbalah less than 48 hours earlier. I’m deep into a calming state of total awareness with no troubling thoughts or desires.  

Except for the nagging feeling that I am dying.  

Get hold of yourself, Michael. Relax. No, don’t relax. Get up, move around. Drink some water. Yeah, that’s the ticket. A little water. Feel better? Heart beating just as fast? OK, well let’s take a walk. Go to the rest room. I don’t care if you “don’t have to go.” Sit on the toilet anyway. And wait.  

Which I did. And waited, and waited. And thought of Elvis Presley .  . . Judy Garland . . . You don’t want to end up like them, I tell myself. They died while sitting on the throne, didn’t they? Both were found slumped on the toilet seat. What a rotten way to be thought of after having such wonderful careers. Dying in such a humiliating  position.  

Hell, if they’re going to find my body, let ’em find it somewhere else, I tell myself. And I clear out, taking my troubles on the road. Literally. What better way to chase away such debilitating feelings, then to get into the car, drive someplace familiar. And shop until you drop!  

Went to ALDI, the discount supermarket in nearby Norristown, some 20 miles outside Philadelphia. Loaded a cart with goodies. Few if any were actually for myself. All for my family. Hey, what use would food be to a dead man?  

Meandering through the store, comparing prices and talking with shoppers and store clerks, I begin to notice something. I’m still “high” from the earlier spiritual lift, but the heartburn is subsiding. So is the creepy pounding of my heart. Edgar Allen Poe, my fellow Philadelphia resident, eat your “Tell Tale” heart out. I’m cured!  

It had to have been the bacon. Should have chewed it more. But, I had already consumed it “meditatively,” chewing each bite more than 100 times. That’s the Zen Buddhist tip I picked up at Omega Institute to be more “in the moment” while eating alone. Supposed to help digesting food as well as bringing you peace.   

So, it had to have been the spiritual activity. Got too much. Took too many bites of “God” and my small mammalian frame could not contain so much of Him. (See: weekend-euphoria-needs-time-to-set, and accident-leads-to-a-fowl-self-discovery). You really do have to be “empty” in order for Him to fill you. Should have paced myself over the weekend, perhaps cut back on some of my consciousness-rasing efforts. Too much of a good thing, could be too much.  

Until the next time, when I’ll simply hang a sign around my neck, advising all that the soul inside of me has happily departed for a higher world, and they could do with what they like the remaining torso. Spirituality will trump the “corporeality” every time!

16 comments on “Can ‘spiritual indigestion’ be all that bad?

  1. Elwanda Wamsley says:

    You might get indigestion from eating too much or too fast, eating high-fat foods, or eating when you’re stressed. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, using some medicines, being tired, and having ongoing stress can also cause indigestion or make it worse. Sometimes the cause is a problem with the digestive tract, like an ulcer or GERD…

    My own internet site


    • contoveros says:

      I just love this comment becuse i suffer from GERD, but I never know how to speel it . . thanks to this site, now I know. thanks. michael j


  2. verewig says:

    The only time I ever had indigestion was during the last months of my pregnancies and for the first time I understood what “heart burn” actually meant.

    It so easy float off in the spiritual highs but if it is not embodied, what is its value? Perhaps we have spiritual indigestion to remind us to digest what we have absorbed first, before we proceed to the next meal.



    • contoveros says:

      Can one be a “glutton” for spirituality? Too much of anything might be too bad. Should learn to pace myself. Got into the habit as a trial attorney doing jury trials when we’d go through periods we called “feast or famine.” We’d go weeks, even months without doing a jury trial, and then end up trying ’em back to back. Did 10 jury presentations in the span of nine weeks once. Talk about “feasting.” Got hemorrhoids out of it. Should have learned something then.

      Thanks Verewig.

      michael j


  3. Helen T says:

    I hope you are doing well now. What did your doctor say?


    • contoveros says:

      Helen T,

      “Dr. Bob” is what we call an “honoroary” title for a person who has performed healing through accupressure. Ten minutes with him, and the lame can walk again. At least, better than they walked before “crawling” into his office. I’ve seen this happen, believe me!

      He literally “felt” the tenseness throughout my body, and knew where pressure was needed to help relieve the suffering. His hands penetrated areas that had “locked up,” freeing them, correcting and restoring an alignment that needed attention.I clicked my heals after jumping from the massage table while I was leaving and would have hopped, skipped and jumped if no one was in the waiting room looking at me. I let out a small cheer instead.

      His office is “Tui Na,” 407 Exective Drive, Luxembourg Corp. Center, Langhorne, PA 19047

      Don’t need an appointment, but you may want to check for hours when he’s open on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. (215-694-2545)

      michael j
      back to normal.
      — Well, you
      were never
      so let’s say
      safe.” Again.


  4. Years ago I was living with several people who meditated daily. It was their firm belief that bacon and meditation DID NOT GO TOGETHER. I had to repress my giggles as that debate raged. I love bacon and meditation.


    • contoveros says:

      I’ll cut back on the bacon, but not the meditation. Wait. I won’t eat the honey bun and I’ll keep the bacon.

      You see, I’m cheap. I get the breakfast along with unlimited coffee for 99 cents. (plus 6 cents tax). Hate to give up a good thing at that price.

      Nice to see you!

      michael j


  5. Too much spirituality trumps bacon bits. LOL. Now isn’t it interesting that your ‘high’ continued even while your body was having issues? More than mind over matter?


    • ps. Funny thing, had my own ‘egg’ encounter yesterday. Much less disconcerting than yours though. Hmm. Something in the ether about eggs? I wonder…hi. Hope you’re ‘well’ physically.


      • contoveros says:

        Felt good after getting a body treatment by “Dr. Bob,” who re-aligned my back, neck and shoulders. Ate two hot dogs for breakfast today. (Ok. I didn’t eat anything until noon, but it was the first and only thing I’ve eaten, so it’s not as strange as it may first appear.)


        michael j


    • contoveros says:

      My high stayed at an even keel throughout. Even if I was about to die, I didn’t feel that concerned. I believe I would have be in the “state of grace,” the non-Catholic one, where I would astonished my ancestors with mystical stories of white buffaloes and wholesome wise women like yourself.

      michael j
      did I just flirt with you? Yeah. Felt nice!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.