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Buddha

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Fill My Hole

You know that fire in your belly when you're hungry? That glint in your eye when you're horny? That skip in your step when you're passionate about something?

Don't lose it. And for god's sake, stop trying to bury it. 

Each of us contains a deep-seated inborn sense of lack; it is the eternal human condition and the cornerstone upon which most religions and philosophies are built. The Buddha, for example, said that your cravings (desires which attempt to fill that hole) are the very cause of your suffering. The thought is:

  1. Since you will never ultimately be fulfilled, you're only setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment if you seek fulfillment.
  2. Therefore, desire should be overcome.

Cool, Buddha, but here's a different perspective: that empty space that seems to eclipse your happiness is in fact not a curse but a tremendous boon - and the search to "fill your hole," while ultimately futile, is the very thing that gives life its power and juice and well… LIFE.

If you allow it, that anxious buzz in you can be the fuel that drives you. That discontentment that feels like pain can actually help you to spring out of bed in the morning and tackle life. Don't be concerned, friend, about the sadness and lack in you. Celebrate it. Own it. Let it push you like a goddamned rocket. Breathe it down deep and feel the energy surging up and through all of your limbs. That "unffff" you feel when you see something that REALLY turns you on? Go after life like THAT.

Don't be fooled, however. Reaching your goals and fulfilling your desires will never make you happy. In fact when you get the guy, when you land the job, when you realize your fantasies, when you buy the house - you will be disillusioned. It will not satisfy you or fill the hole, but that does not mean you should not pursue or desire it.

At the risk of sounding like a kitchen magnet: screw the destination; the journey is exactly the point. 

Most of us do not celebrate our discontentment but rather are annoyed and pained by it. So what do we do? We mask it or deplete it. We smoke weed, we jerk off, we drink heavily - not to feel more deeply - but to shut off our thoughts and distract our dis-ease in a thousand different ways. 

Take sex for instance. When you've got "the urge to merge" there is a craving in your body/mind that feels like an electric buzz. Your frantic search for fulfillment is a pursuit to make that buzzing end. But I would also wager to say that at the same time you're feeling horny and needy, you're also more alert, more eager for life and [very likely] more loving (all of which will certainly deplete the minute you get your rocks off). Instead of seeking release from all of your longings, what if you were to harness them, feel them circulate in your body and utilize that eager energy like a tamed (but extraordinarily powerful) bull between your legs?

Now take that and relate it to finances, to career, to spirituality, to any of your needs:

  1. Feel your lack deeply;
  2. Celebrate your longing for things to be different than what they are right now;
    ...and then...
  3. Find contentment - not in the satiation or fulfillment of your desires and goals - but in the unsatisfied, buzzy hunger itself.

Suddenly life is juicy and yummy and full of spark and opportunity. You are more attracted to your partner, you pursue financial opportunities with vigor and you sensually and enthuastically enjoy the challenge and process along the way. Unfff.

By Trevor Harden
Artwork: "Finger Sex" by Tina Lug. Used with permission - check out her amazing site!

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Living V. Reliving

Transient

Your shelves and coffee tables are littered with books. Your newsreader is overflowing with blog posts. Your Twitter is alive with the sound of verbal diarrhea. Words, words, words. We think we're learning, but we are only reliving. All of these stories, all of these insights are simply "fingers pointing at the moon." But they sure as shit aren't the moon. 

Have you substituted direct experience for fairy tales? Do the insights of pastors, authors and poets get you off just enough to help you sleep at night? Think you grok some deep, fundamental truth because you read some swami's autobiography?

Fuck that shit. 

  • If you desire to feel a deep unity with the Ground of Being, don't read a book about it - sit your ass on a cushion for 30 minutes a day.
  • If you want to know the "peace that passes all understanding," don't replay an audio sermon about it - regularly schedule time to shut everything down and be with yourself.
  • If you want to learn how to be more loving and less selfless, then set a goal to write one handwritten note of encouragement per day.

Experiment with life. Treat it as a laboratory. Push this and watch that pop out. See for yourself. Get your damn hands dirty. 

Wisdom and insight are fine; after all, I realize the irony that I am writing words on a blog. But words are simply signposts that allow us to witness and enjoy others' experiences and to learn routes for our own journey. 

"If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him."  No teacher, no book, no ritual, no prophet, no second-hand story will ever allow you to access spiritual truth until you carve the time to experience it firsthand. If the desire of your heart is to see Paris - you can read the Wikipedia page - or you can get on a fuckin' plane and marinate in the sounds and smells of the city.

Trevor, The Edge of Spiri

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