"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Day 15: Buddhism Schmudism

I went to a well known Buddhist meditation center tonight, and to tell you the truth I don't know what to think. Part of me thought it was calming, interesting and somewhat enlightening. Part of me thought it was just a bunch of crap.

It started off with a vegetarian meal that really bugged me. Pasta salad, creamy soup, bread, sorbet. Starch, dairy, starch, sugar. Not an ounce of protein in the entire meal. No wonder everybody was whispering as they shuffled slowly around the compound. They didn't have the energy to do anything else. Maybe that's why, after dinner, everybody just sat around and didn't say anything for about half an hour.

I did like that there were a lot of bald guys there, though. Made me feel at home. The "congregation" reminded me of the audience at this Spalding Gray show I went to once -- an odd mixture of ex-hippies and beach bums, all nodding away like crazy while the master (or "head bald guy" as I call him) found poetic ways to say things that we've all known since we were twelve. Instead of "War is bad," he'd say something like, "As wise man Acumba Shake Abba Zabba -- who was the best man at my wedding, by the way -- used to say, "War is like a shoe without a mate, left in a closet that's never opened." Nod. Nod. Nod.

On the plus side, though, I kind of liked meditating, and the 35 minutes went by very quickly. And the bald guy was a good speaker. And though he didn't say anything I didn't already know, I liked the way he said it. And though I felt that the people there were too full of themselves, at least they were making an effort to improve their lives.

So, like I say, I really don't know what to think about the whole thing. Let me meditate on it for a while.