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When left unattended, these poisons run rampant in the mind and create mental fixations around what in life we deem desirable and not desirable.We miss people, we miss moments, we miss opportunities.I meditate so that I can reflect on my experiences, both the delightful and the painful. [or should I say, a failed attempt at online dating because you need to have actually gone on a date for it be considered dating…right?And in that stillness, I sometimes find the courage to ask myself some uncomfortable questions. [chants to himself under his breath: vulnerability and courage are one and the same, vulnerability and courage are one and the same, vulnerability and courage are on and the same] Ok. ] But because I am a really good, only slightly novice Buddhist practitioner, I realized that the whole thing of it, the whole process of creating an online dating persona—the choosing of the profile picture, the filling in the description portion, and the people that I found attractive enough and interesting enough to actually meet for a date–was an opportunity for self-reflection. Am I the only one who has experienced the wonderful, the terrifying and the potentially dangerous pull of romantic relationships and the pursuit of love? Am I the only one who has had an acutely maddening online dating experience?A catharsis for spiritual engagement that somehow, magically, leads us back to our own basic goodness. And certainly, like the poison it can be, this longing would somehow kill me. Three days later, I deleted my profile because I was dateless and still unhappy. I was exhausted and bitter and had so many unanswered questions about myself floating around in my head. I want to believe that this feeling is always available to me, waiting to be breathed into, waiting to be unpacked. So I took another deep breath and contemplated on that some more. In his free time he enjoys free writing in his journal, dancing like a maniac, and attending the Boston Shambhala Centers 30’s and Under Meditation group on Tuesday evening.
Perhaps that is why I felt so crazy after hours of liking and disliking men I never got the chance to meet. What, dear lord, made me think it was a good idea to create an online dating profile after having very recently exited a long-tern relationship with someone that I still cared deeply for?
[I remember a dear friend asked me to close my eyes and imagine the “ideal” Brandon. Cupid account, I was now honing in on that perfect profile picture. The website asked me to present myself to other users by answering questions like “what am I doing with my life? And beyond romantic love, I wonder what else I consciously and subconsciously sort through in an attempt to get what I like and to avoid those things I dislike.
The scene of a calm man wearing Birkenstocks and orange yoga pants, giving nature tours on meditation retreats immediately came to mind. “Brandon, that man you just explained, sounds nothing like you! Even more importantly, how does this sorting lead to my own suffering?
In Ruling your world the Sakyong says “The Buddha taught that suffering is a result of roaming, the urge to keep looking for an external source of happiness”. So that Monday, in December, I dragged myself back to the meditation cushion in the corner of my living room and with a sad, broken-heart, I paused and asked myself this final question: “What do I want? ” I breathed deeply into the heaviness that I felt in my chest. The Sakyong defines contentment as that indestructible feeling of confidence and happiness that arises regardless of circumstance. Regardless of those things that make us proud or those things we’d like to keep tucked away from ourselves and from others. Brandon is currently a doctoral student in the MGH Institute of Health Professional’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in Boston Massachusetts.
However, according to the Sakyong, all relationships, including romantic relationships, are foundations for profound spiritual practice. ) So, nonetheless, like the very good Buddhist practitioner that I am, I figured six months of single life was about enough for me. The same heaviness you feel when you’re the last person picked for the team, or when you find out your best friend has been lying to you. Regardless of whether we are single or in romantic partnership. Maybe, just maybe, we are always just looking for that that feeling of contentment that comes from getting to know our own basic goodness. He is also a licensed massage therapist and holistic body worker.
We will begin by finding the time period when Buddha really lived.