(Disclaimer: Do not listen to this meditation while raiding villages. Remain in a place where you can safely relax, such as at home in the swamp amongst the wailing of your dearest ones.)
Hello, and welcome to this guided meditation. I am Hypnos, the god of sleep, and I have come from the underworld so that I can restore your peace of mind. As we go on a transcendent, blissful journey together, I will help you find deep, healing relaxation.
First, crawl into the cave where you nest and drag a hollow tree trunk over its opening to create a barrier, enclosing yourself in darkness and privacy. Lie on the floor, allowing the rotting leaves to cushion your nine heads and the warm, muddy sand to coat your scales. Take a breath and imagine yourself inhaling the aroma of sheep carcasses. Exult in events beyond your control; you are part of the universe because your eight mortal heads are vulnerable to illness, and remember that your ninth, golden immortal head will always remain with you. Take in a moldy, wet cloud from the swamps into your lungs and exhale it, shedding your fears and responsibilities.
Your five children might bang on your cave barrier, but this is fine. When they scream and complain that you won’t let them go trick-or-treating in the swamps of other hydras this year, notice that you are no longer focusing on your breathing and let it go. Redirect your attention back to your breath, the sheep carcasses, and the movement of your necks against the leaves.
With each inhalation, notice your lungs and belly expanding as you take in the air, turning it into poison with each exhale. Focus on the oxygen that spreads through you every time you breathe, relaxing your many necks, your snout, your fins, and your stomach. Your breath connects you to the miracles of our world: the darkness of the swamp, the delicious fumes from the waters, and the destruction that floods bring.
If your oldest child bangs on your tree trunk barrier and says, “I need candied sheep eyeballs now!”, resist your instinct to answer. Use positive thinking strategies to overcome the distraction. Good parents ignore their children, teaching the independence and resourcefulness required to grow into an effective killer serpent. Breathe to cleanse your mind of guilt, since after all, you weren’t the one to stop Halloween this year.
Your children will probably start to butt their 45 heads into your cave barrier, causing it to crack and break, so keep inhaling that swampy air and show compassion towards yourself. We all experience negativity at times. You are not wrong to prevent your children from attending Halloween parties. Embrace your circumstances; your most deserving child can still dress up as the hydra-killer Herakles by wearing nine face masks, assuming he can keep all of them on without his acid-drenched breath disintegrating some. Maybe you and your family can tie piñatas of Jason and the Argonauts to a tree and smash them into slivers together. Sharing in some Halloween-themed destruction will help everyone love each other more.
When your cherubs smash your tree trunk barrier into pieces with their tails, flicking their dread tongues and daring you to cut off their serpentine heads so that two more can grow from their necks instead, keep imagining yourself in a space of positive transformation. Clear away the pain in your chest as your children tumble over you, pommel you, and scream at you to get up. This is your time. You have created this moment for yourself, so breathe in the healing energy from the dark swamps and let go of your exhaustion. Imagine yourself climbing slowly and mindfully up a crystal staircase to the midnight sky, where you can touch the stars and observe the mystery of the cosmos. Here, your challenges fall from your shoulders and dissolve into outer space.
Your five children might grab your snout, necks and fins in their 45 fanged mouths, covering you in their poisonous drool as they drag you from your warm cave floor and out to the riverbank. Remember that you attract everything you need, and you have all that you need within you, because you maintain healthy boundaries. As your favorite child pushes the bowl of candied sheep eyeballs into your face and orders you to say the magic words required to undo the spell that locks its lid, remain committed to your well-being. Remind yourself that your relationships are balanced because you give and receive in equal measure. Take a breath, say “deep, healing relaxation!”, unlock the bowl, and pour every candied sheep eyeball that you have onto the muddy ground. When your children scream with victory and excited happiness, swarming over the loot at your feet, rejoice that they have granted you one moment of peace. Now, release all resistance to their love.