Monday, May 11, 2009

Finding my religion

No I didn’t see the light or get smote by lightning, though some might say that’s a bit overdue. I was however for some period in a dark, dark place. I’m not even sure why, the papers had come through but the practical obstacles to the final move seemed insurmountable. Sure there were some bright sparks in my day, random chats, unexpected fb messages making me grin, the boys somehow turning a single email about the weekend hike into a 75 email long, odyssey of a thread which would invariably involve a plethora of sexual innuendo all were the little things that helped me get through the days.

These were nice, but on the dark side the trips to the dealer became a ritual. Every Thursday, Friday roll into the valley. Quick call on the phone, fist bump, sly exchange of baggies and cash and empty platitudes. The cost mounted quickly, both financially and mentally. Every day was fuzzy and I started to get stupid. Things would fizz past me as my mind slowed down to the speed of molasses. Weekends were spent in bed, in a haze, trying to dull the pain. To be honest I can’t figure out why it stopped but the memory of a random trip with the grandmother to listen to some Buddhist dude helped out. The memory that Ajahn Brahm had a podcast with P’s rather brilliant idea of ripping CDs and listening to them in the car brought me light.

Note I’m no middle path Buddhist now, no pansal going, pirith nool wearing chap. I still like to drink, smoke up occasionally, eat meat and fornicate with the best of them. I have however managed to get a handle on the addictive personality that my genes have blessed me with. As opposed to going off the rails like so many of my male brethren, I have regained some control and the obstacles seem more handleable. And the words of Ajan Brahm, with his wry sense of humour and simple but powerful stories have definitely helped me gain perspective. I wholeheartedly recommend checking his podcast out. If a cynical, hardbitten, atheist like me can find comfort in his words…well…let’s just say he must be good.

To paraphrase Jimmy Cliff, I can see clearly now…there maybe some rain ahead…but I can see clearly.

6 comments:

Delilah said...

i like this post. honest and realistic but inspiring in a strange way.
'addictive personality'- i think i'm cursed with the same.

PseudoRandom said...

Ajahn Brahm is cool :-)

Doesn't matter how you got here...as long as you're in a better place now :-)

who else but me said...

"still like to drink, smoke up OCCASIONALLY, eat meat and fornicate with the best of them. I have however managed TO GET A HANDLE ON the addictive personality that my genes have blessed me with. AS OPPOSED TO GOING OFF THE RAILS like so many of my male brethren, I have regained some control and the obstacles seem more handleable." HMMM...I'D SAY YOUR SOMEWHERE ON THE MIDDLE PATH ALREADY. ALL THE BEST. :)

sach said...

Ah so I'm not the only cynical and jaded atheist that Ajahn Brahm got through to :) My experience has been pretty much the same as yours. He helps make sense of a lot of things.

Dulan said...

Ajahn Brahm is a lot easier to listen to and understand since he takes such pleasure in what he says and truly walks that middle path. I haven't heard a lot of exaggerated piety from him.

Many of the monks away from the towns, especially those in Meditation centers are much easier to listen to. They generally teach buddhism in way that can be practiced and less as a high moral standard to achieve.

As MTB said, looks like you're on the middle path already :)

Kirigalpoththa said...

Just heard one of his sermons a few days ago! Thought he is different and someone whom I could keep listening for sometime..

BTW you are Tagged by me :)