buddhism


i’ve skirted around this through my last few posts, primarily starting entries on some pali words and concepts.

the truth is, while there’s a certain amount of shock value in being able to say i’m going through a spiritual awakening and have discovered buddhism, i cant.

I have waited a month or so before saying this, but I cannot lay claim to enough belief in some of the fundamental ideas of buddhism to be able to say that I’m a buddhist.

i do not have sufficient intellectual and personal evidence or experience to believe in karma and reincarnation, even in the less information heavy form of reincarnation espoused by early buddhism. This goes for all other spiritual entities that go with the accounting and intervention of the cycle of rebirth (or samsara).

However, i do believe in the efficacy of buddhist meditation as a means of achieving greater insight, acceptance and contentment in one’s life. I believe that some aspects of the sila (or the moral practice associated with buddhism) is very conducive to buddhist meditation.

So I guess, I am a buddist to the extent that I am able to accept a fair amount of the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path.

And that’s about it.

weekend


I had a very full weekend. The end result on the physical level is a severe lack of sleep. I got to bed at 6am on Saturday morning for about three hours and not till 7pm on Sunday night. Fortunately I got in a nap on Saturday arvo.

The events could be summarised quite easily as follows: Mantrix album launch at Room 680 on Friday night, on Saturday night a house party that had two dance floors, a hot tub the size of a small pool *and* a tepee in the backyard and on Sunday a protest rally about saving victoria’s old growth forests from the very evil woodchipping industry that exports to Japan. The rally had John Butler playing at Fed square after. I remain uncertain as to whether I dragged my sleep deprived self to the rally on Sunday because of my affection for old growth forests or the dreadlocked soulful one from Byron.

For those wondering (and I’m adding this partly because of the pleasure of trumpet blowing, partly because I kept being asked on Sunday why I looked so fresh and did I have more and partly because you know, drugs are evil), I did all of the above with the aid of two100g blocks of Lindt’s 85% cocoa mass chocolate, a rather bad café latte, two Melbourne bitter stubbies and a pot of Carlton.

What actually occurred during the weekend is less easy to describe.

Being at the heavily drugged environments on Friday and Saturday night revealed to me that while I was clearheaded in that regard, I was far from immune from being affected by the rather more prosaic drives of being single, male and healthy in the company of very attractive women and potentially competing single men. In fact, I was probably more conscious of it. The conclusion that came to me is that testosterone makes for a rough trip.

My objective for both nights were simple:
– have a good time
– maybe meet someone special

Unfortunately, I discovered once again that those two objectives are mutually exclusive.

For example, I’d be on the dance floor enjoying the music, getting into the groove and by chance spot an attractive woman smiling gently in my direction, possibly at me. There’s a brief exchange of eye contact. The next half hour then passes in a fit of agonising indecision. Was she even smiling at me? Is that guy with her her friend or partner? What the effing hell would I say when the music is so loud? Should I try to smile at her again and catch her eye? What is the damned etiquette for this anyway?

In the meantime of course, a young very drunk guy is coming up to a female friend and mumbling in her ear. The look of disgust on her face is apparent to everyone but him. He continues in his pathetic wooing attempts (but so much less pathetic than my own frozen indecision). I stand a little closer in order to render assistance should it be required. In the close environs of the club, he moves in such a way as to accidentally elbow me.

For the rest of the evening, in between casting longing but swiftly averted glances at attractive women, I become preternaturally aware of the young man (who for some reason insists on hitting on every one of my female friends whenever I happen to be around). I have occasional fantasies of doing violence on him. The fact that he is vulnerable and poorly coordinated makes him an even more tempting target.

All attempts at metta fail. My mood sours as I grow more tired and I begin to be very critical of the music. When I leave the club at 5:15 or so, there’s a group of very drunk young men being beaten up by the bouncers. The young man from the club is amongst them. Unfortunately, he is not being beaten up and is instead attempting to reason with the bouncers to stop being bullies. Witnessing his succinct and accurate summary of the situation and his reasonableness does not lighten my mood.

Saturday night was not so different except most of the people there were on mushrooms and so the level of aggression in the air was significantly reduced. I had a better if as frustrating a time.