Ophira's Meditations Ophira takes Jane Levy and Alex Newell on a journey into the world of meditation as she quizzes them about coping mechanisms.

Ophira's Meditations

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and waiting to go to the barber because you're too embarrassed of the last haircut you gave yourself. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.


Thanks, Jonathan. We're playing games with the stars of NBC's "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," Jane Levy and Alex Newell. So before our next game, Jane, you were in an "Evil Dead" movie. And am I right that you stole, or maybe you were gifted, the chainsaw from that movie?


EISENBERG: Which one was it?

LEVY: I was gifted it.


LEVY: It's not as fun as saying I stole it, but...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

LEVY: I don't know if you guys have seen that movie. It's very gross. And the last sequence in the movie takes place in blood rain. So they set up these towers full of red paint, and I just got paint poured on me for two weeks. And so the chainsaw I have was actually a functioning chainsaw, but it got jammed with so much paint that it's broken.

EISENBERG: Oh, you can't use it?

LEVY: No, you can't use it.

COULTON: You should leave a very angry review on Amazon about that chainsaw. Two stars - does not work during blood rain.

LEVY: Yeah.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

ALEX NEWELL: I would like to see it.

EISENBERG: Would you like to play another game?

NEWELL: Absolutely.

LEVY: I'm in.

EISENBERG: I think we can all agree that the world is a stressful place. We all have our different ways of coping with it. And so today I'm introducing a new character I am meeting for the first time called Calm Ophira (ph).


EISENBERG: Calm Ophira awakens with the sun to meditate in a field on a day of quarantine with her 4-year-old child. Calm Ophira will describe something people are using to deal with their stress, and you just have to guess what it is. OK?

LEVY: Great.

NEWELL: Lovely.

EISENBERG: All right. This is for you, Jane.


EISENBERG: Close your eyes. Imagine a waterfall cascading off a cliff into a bowl of flour. As you breathe in the air around you, this mixture will breathe in the yeast that's also around you. Focus on growth. The mixture has reached the top of the bowl. Discard what doesn't serve you, maybe into some waffles.

LEVY: Baking sourdough bread.

EISENBERG: Yes, that's right.

LEVY: Alex, have you made any bread? Alex...


LEVY: ...Is a great cook.

NEWELL: No. I haven't made bread because everybody was making bread, and also, I didn't know what I was going to do with it.

LEVY: You were going to eat it.

NEWELL: I don't even like bread that much.

LEVY: What?

NEWELL: I think I like bread, but I don't know if I like bread that much.

LEVY: I think bread is my all-time favorite food.


LEVY: Bread and butter.

EISENBERG: I could just eat it nonstop. All right. Alex, this one is for you.

Breathe in. Breathe out. This is a day of new horizons. It's time to switch off your brain. That's it. Trust in your fingers. You might be holding a controller, but you know that you are truly in control.

NEWELL: Watching Netflix.

EISENBERG: Close. Think of something that you would have the controller in your hand for the entire experience.

NEWELL: Scrolling Instagram.


NEWELL: Oh, or playing the video games.

EISENBERG: That's right. I mean, now that you've opened it up, I feel all of those things. Yes. I feel scrolling Instagram does require a lot of interaction with the device.

NEWELL: I thought it was a nap because that's what I really do professionally now.

EISENBERG: And have you learned that you can do it in any room in your house? Have you learned that?

NEWELL: I have fallen asleep in this position.


EISENBERG: Fantastic. All right. This is for you, Jane.

Unclench your jaw and imagine opening up a box filled with endless pieces. You are in charge of creating your own story. You are in charge of creating this image of a wicker basket full of puggles.

LEVY: Puzzle-making.

EISENBERG: Yes, that's right (laughter).

LEVY: What's the verb for puzzles?

EISENBERG: Constructing.

NEWELL: Puzzling.

EISENBERG: Puzzling.

COULTON: Putting-together-ing (ph).

EISENBERG: Putting-ing-together-ing (ph).

NEWELL: Constructing.

EISENBERG: Puzzling. It's puzzle puzzling.

NEWELL: Puzzle puzzling.

LEVY: Yeah. Say it again, Alex.

NEWELL: Puzzle puzzling.

LEVY: Wow. It sounds so good.

NEWELL: Darling, puzzle puzzling.


EISENBERG: All right. Alex, this is the last one for you.

Feel a soothing warmth travel from your neck to your elbow to the elbow noodles on the stove. Acknowledge that you have the tools you need, like a spoon to disperse your orange powder. Exhale out all your breath to make room in your body for yet more carbs.

NEWELL: Oh, macaroni and cheese.


NEWELL: Kraft.

EISENBERG: Yes. Oh, yes - the box. You know, I feel like, you know, the one disappointing thing about boxed mac and cheese for me is that you can't eat it out of the box. Like, you still have to use dishes. If it was truly...

NEWELL: Well, you know, they have the individual cup thingies (ph) now.

EISENBERG: Yeah. That's what I like. That's what I like.



EISENBERG: Again, just a sweep of our game, so thank you so much. Thank you so much, Jane Levy. Thank you so much, Alex Newell. I really, really loved having you on our show. Thank you.

NEWELL: Thank you.

LEVY: Thank you.

EISENBERG: That was Jane Levy and Alex Newell. You can catch "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" on NBC.


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