Meditation may not be for everyone, but author and humorist Dan Zevin has just released a new book, "Very Modern Mantras: Daily Affirmations for Daily Aggravations," which aims to help people deal with stressful events with a sense of humor. WGBH Radio's Henry Santoro spoke with Zevin about his modern mantras. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Henry Santoro: What was the catalyst for the book?

Dan Zevin: I got the idea for the book while I was driving around completely lost, because my GPS was giving me the world's worst driving directions. It told me to get off the highway and take this back road to avoid traffic and make a right turn at the light, and there was no light. And I'm thinking, "What light?" It kept saying, "Right turn at the light."

Then it began to lose the wireless signal [and started] recalculating, and the GPS lady just starts babbling away: "Make a right turn. Make a left turn. Make a U-turn. Make a right turn, make a left turn..." It was like free-associating GPS. I was just freaking out. I tried to do my breathing, listen to my ambient music, stay calm. And no, I was freaking out. All I could visualize was being late for where I was trying to get to go. That's when this mantra came to mind — the mantra for GPS.

I know you need to sit and take time and visualize rainbows and waterfalls. I have the app, I've done the yoga classes and I immediately begin to visualize the deadline I'm missing, the emails that are piling up or that skin condition I just noticed under my eyes that I read about on the WebMD. And what am I going to do, when am I going to go to the dermatologist if I'm sitting here visualizing rainbows? So that's partly why I wanted to write this book of mantras on demand. It's like immediate gratification meditation.

Santoro: In addition to the mantras in the book, and there are 40 of them, there are videos of some of the mantras on YouTube.

Zevin: Yes, there is a Modern Mantra YouTube channel. I made these videos with the help of my local cable TV station. Shout out to community cable TV; they're brilliant. They can teach an old guy how to make a video for YouTube. But yeah, I watched a lot of the real meditation videos to sort of get into the right mood. It was like method acting.

Santoro: It's your voice on these things.

Zevin: It's my voice. I listened to a lot of Deepak Chopra as I was preparing for it. But instead of those standard visualization exercises you'll find all over YouTube where you're sitting there envisioning that you're on top of a beautiful snow capped mountain, I have you doing meditations for the stressful situations of everyday life.

Santoro: Like "a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step in dog poop."

Zevin: Yes, that is one of the daily aggravations. That was an affirmation. Most of these come from just over the course of my typical day. I can come up with 15 mantras. But yeah, stepping in dog poop is one of the grosser ones.

Santoro: Have you heard from people in the mindfulness field?

Zevin: People, much to my delight, in that world of mindfulness are loving this book. I was a little worried they were going to think that this book is making fun of the meditation world, but it's not. It's taking all of the aggravations of your everyday life and using that kind of lingo that is very common in that world, to deal with it, laugh at it and to release those aggravations in the same way that maybe you would if you were trying and failing to visualize yourself sitting on top of a mountain.

Santoro: How come you've never done stand up comedy?

Zevin: I don't think I was aware that it was a career option. I grew up in a family where it was, doctor or lawyer. Funny story about that. I kind of broke the mold and became a comedy writer. My dad was so excited one day [because] he saw the book in a gift shop. It's fancy stationery store called Papyrus. And he goes, "Danny, I saw your book in Papyrus. They had 30 of them! And and you know what I said to the lady? I said, 'My son wrote this book. Is it possible he could have a Papyrus franchise himself?'" That's where he went with this. It was never enough. I wasn't going to be a doctor or lawyer, [so] at least you're going to own a Papyrus.

Santoro: Would you like to leave us with a Thanksgiving mantra?

Zevin: A special Thanksgiving mantra? Sure. "This is the year I begin my journey of brining." You know, brining a turkey? I've always wanted to, but it's way too intimidating.

This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Dan Zevin's name. It is Zevin, not Zevins.