It’s still all concepts and signs

Ugh, I am high right now. I had such a good week last week: I meditated every day, I got to work quite on time most days, I didn’t get high Sunday or Monday or Tuesday night. Or Thursday, I think. I brought my lunch every day, and it was always a salad, sometimes with beets. I got my freelance work done well in advance of the absolute deadline, and I did some real reading (printed book, no less) before bedtime, which took place at or around a reasonable ten p.m. every night. I was a fucking monster of accomplishment.

This week has gone less like that, so far. It’s fine, I guess. It’s probably better than fine. I still have meditated every day. Julia and I had sex twice already this week! (This is a big deal — the twins are about to be fourteen months; it has been A WHILE since all the necessary factors — energy level, libido, opportunity, intoxicatedness — regularly aligned more than once a season or so.) I don’t fucking know. I was just kind of out of it all day yesterday and today at work.

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The printed book I’m reading is The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, by Thich Nhat Hanh. (That’s where the quotes I posted come from.) He says in the chapter on Right Thinking that you should make a sign that says “Are you sure?” and hang it somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. I don’t really understand what I want to do with this blog, except write here every day, but I promise now that I will ask myself “Are you sure?” every time before I hit publish on a post. That sounds pretentious, but it is a promise to myself as much as to anyone reading this.

I wasn’t going to read anything about Buddhism after I started meditating, because from what I understand, vipassana meditation should work regardless of whether you study any actual Buddhist literature or theology. Somehow that determination got swept away. It happened only a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t remember why; when I try, it feels like watching a ghost flit through a hallway of my memory. I wanted to know how legit the meditation I was doing was. Mindfulness in Plain English says vipassana is what the Buddha taught, and I want to have something so simple and unadorned and close to the source. You just breathe and watch it, but not too hard. It’s so portable and so powerful. Protestant Christianity doesn’t offer any analogous practice, nothing even close; you have to get esoteric before you even approach it. Instead, we have discussion. It can be real fun and real meaningful, even life-changing. But it’s still all concepts and signs, which we are drowning in already.

(Maybe this is the fundamental problem with neoliberalism, too? It’s ideas, all the way through?)

I remain unclear as to the legitness of my meditation, but the book is what I hoped it would be.

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I’m thinking about writing a post about the times I’ve touched women inappropriately. There have been only a few (which is a huge relief), and none seems egregious to me, or as if writing about them would be unkind or disrespectful. It feels tricky, because the point is not for it to come off as humblebragging (“This wasn’t even that bad, but I still feel terrible about it”) or white-knighting; the point is to make this category of admission public, because if men don’t talk about it with some openness — among themselves, with women, and to themselves — the behavior is never going to change. Anyway, if it comes off badly, you guys can let me know.