Friday, February 17, 2006

That was Zen, this is now

In the not too distant past, I was a Buddhist. I knelt. I chanted. I burned incense and I sought inner peace and enlightenment. It hurt my knees.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciated the Buddhist philosophy and admire those who walk the path. But ultimately it didn't turn on the lightbulb for me. I think most of my friends and family were relieved when I stopped chanting (I became dis-en-chanted, so to speak).

Being a Buddhist was just one of the spiritual paths I experimented with. Having been raised a Christian Scientist, I'd been exposed to the philosophy of spiritual healing. That held my attention until I was 16. When New Age philosophy became popular, I tried crystals, Creative Guided Meditation, astrology, Tarot, Runes, palm readers, and floatation tanks. The Buddhist phase came after that.

Somewhere in there I went through several types of therapy with several counselors and psychologists to help me understand the relationships I drifted in and out as sought meaning out of my life. At various times, I took designer anti-depressants. I read self help books and books about Quantum physics. I listened to subliminal tapes and chanted self-affirmations as much in the same way I'd chanted as a Buddhist.

It was all part of my search for the truth or a truth. And did I find it? Nawwwww. But I did discover that much of the urgency and feeling of being lost that I experienced in my youth softened as I got older. I discovered that the easiest way to find something is stop looking so hard. That's when I just sat back in my recliner and relaxed.

I may have not found the truth, but somehow I've found a bit of peace (and my remote control).
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