Speaking for myself only, I have never associated Diddy — also known as Sean John Combs, and formerly as P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, and Puffy — with feeling relaxed. While I have often meditated on photos of the rapper’s legendary white parties — an activity I’ve found to be nearly as therapeutic as deep breathing — he, as a person, doesn’t exactly give off Zen energy. So, when Audible announced earlier this week that its new Original offerings features a 20-minute guided meditation by Diddy, titled “Honor Yourself by Diddy,” I was slightly skeptical.
And yet, I was simultaneously intrigued. I’ve struggled with anxiety and insomnia for much of my life; the stress of living through a pandemic has certainly aggravated those issues. Could a man whose voice transports me back to middle school — the most miserable years of my life — potentially help me honor myself during these trying times? It seemed unlikely. But after following Diddy’s guidance I have to say: I think Diddy did, in fact, help me honor myself.
When I first pressed play at approximately 10:30 p.m. last night, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I smiled to myself as Diddy said, in dulcet tones and over New Age music, “By getting into bed, you sent the signal that it was time to rest. And by being here right now, resting, sinking into your breath, you’re honoring that signal.” A few minutes later, he suggested the listener “cocoon yourself in bed, if that’s your thing.” I paused to wonder, Who, exactly, would consider cocooning in bed to be “their thing?” I pulled out my phone, taking note of this question. And then, something changed.
I couldn’t tell you what exactly Diddy started to say around minute ten because I fully left my body and entered one of the most serene, euphoric states I have ever experienced. In that moment, I levitated between states of consciousness. This is like that one scene in First Reformed, I thought to myself, not stopping to interrogate that idea further. After that, I’m not quite sure what happened: Audible says I “finished” the recording, but I have no memory of doing so. I’m assuming that I simply fell asleep. But as someone who, on a typical night, spends at least a full, miserable hour trying to achieve that, this explanation is shocking.
In the time since, I’ve sporadically wondered if Diddy’s meditation really was that effective — but part of me doesn’t want to ponder it further. In fact, I don’t even think I want to listen to it again, lest I find it ineffective, which might soil the memory. Some things, like magic, simply require you to believe. If you’re ready to believe in Diddy, let yourself succumb.