Saturday, March 27, 2010

Imperfections R Us


...said sorry, not feeling quite myself today...though knowing that simmering misery is at least as much myself as anything else I might be feeling...

`I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.'
Lewis Carroll

...been reading this book called Just Kids by Patti Smith, about herself and Robert Mapplethorpe as young artists in NY in the 60’s...listening to Blonde on Blonde and Beggars Banquet over and over, but too broke to go and see rock concerts...young artists aware of the legendary Andy Warhol factory scene nearby but lacking the cache to get anywhere near it...kind of funny, in a way...later on, Patti Smith asked should I pursue a path so twisted?...a line I’ve always liked...perhaps because the straight and narrow has only ever tended to get me hopelessly lost...

...one thing none of the yoga books say is that there’s probably no better time for a neti pot than when you’re sick-drunk....or that there’s no better cure for a serious hangover than a really intense vinyasa class...the kind that makes you silently chant what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger...

...another thing they don’t say is that getting sick-drunk might indicate that you’re in a very different...perhaps less placid...state of mind than you might have been telling yourself...

...recently read this book called Letters From the Dhamma Brothers...about a vipassana meditation program for inmates in a southern maximum security prison...(which, like the Dhamma Brothers movie, is worth checking out)....in one place, the point is made, in reference to participants who’ve been addicts, that meditation shouldn't be used as a substitute for drugs...and I get that...these techniques were developed with higher goals than another addictive behavior or a buzz...just like yoga wasn’t invented for killer abs and firm butts...but, at the same time, can’t help thinking if somebody’s looking for a buzz, wouldn’t it be a whole lot better to get it from meditation than from heroin?...or, would it be better if the yoga-as-exercise crowd joined the 40% of Americans who don’t exercise at all?....all in all, am inclined to think that if people are replacing something unhealthy with something healthy, that’s a good thing...even if it’s a watered-down version of a better thing...

...I useta use all kindsa crap to dilute my coffee before finally learning to enjoy it black...

...(yeah, I just compared yoga to coffee)...(but, ya gotta admit, better that than crack)...

...still not so sure, though, about the food co-op employee heard a couple days ago proudly proclaiming that he smokes organic cigarettes...



*cross posted at Elephant Journal*

6 comments:

Bob Weisenberg said...

Organic cigarettes? You've got to be kidding me, right? Tell me that's a joke.

If you go deeply enough into the ancient Yoga texts you find that "herbs" or "Soma" are considered a legitimate alternate path to realization. Hell, you don't even have to go that deep--it's right there in the ubiquitous Yoga Sutra.

That doesn't mean we should endorse drugs as meditation today. We can forgive the Yoga sages from thousands of years ago for not knowing that drugs achieve their results by destroying brain cells and truly damaging a person's ability to perceive reality. But they did put the experiences in exactly the same category as the high one gets from meditation.

And of course we have no way of knowing, I don't think, what these plants were exactly, and whether they were benign or harmful to the brain.

A more relevant and provocative question for today is, does advanced meditation achieve its results in the same way? Is meditation to extent of drug-like stupor dangerous in the same way drugs themselves are? There are certainly off-the-chart practitioners in India who might make you think so.

There's a guy at University of Wisconsin who has been studying the brains of monks in advanced stages of meditation. He probably knows the answer to this question already. I haven't read about any ill-effects on the brain.

This is one of those comment where I'm just throwing out ideas. I hope some more knowledgeable readers will step in to help us out here.

Bob Weisenberg
http://YogaDemystified.com

Eco Yogini said...

i agree with you, if people practice yoga for other reasons than what 'yoba' people think, than all the power, it's better than crack.

I also think that yoga tends to suck you in... kinda like crack (not that I would know, but that I assume)... so eventually you start absorbing some of the meditation, higher power stuff anyways...

also- i totally agree that vinyasa, sweating classes are fantastic for hangovers.

earthtoholly said...

I dunno, drjay. It's hard to believe that those feets belong to anything other than an awfully relaxed and happy bod...

Just yesterday my in-laws mentioned their switch from doctored coffee to black...maybe thinking that I should too.

Hmmm, neti pots for hangovers. Wondering what the science is behind that.

Bossy Betty said...

Love the ideas and sentiments here!

Brooks Hall said...

That picture gives a different vibe to this post. The words seem to create a different vibe... So in putting the picture and words together it's sorta' like I'm comfortably hangin' out with Mr. Unhappy. Which is cool... I usually reject my miserable states in the company of others, or they go away... The whole I'm-a-miserable-dude-who-just-happens-to-be-chillaxin'-in-the-warm-memories-of-my-vacation mood of the post speaks.

berenice said...

Dr. Jay, i do agree on the substituting bad habits for yoga, sadly on this society one cannot be so purist as to do things for their intrinsic values, and sure!! yoga is better than the couch even if you are not an illuminated yogi, if you try enough, one day you'll be...

on organic cigarettes (is that a pot reference??) otherwise it's really stupid to come out with something like organic cigarettes... and thank god i don't do hangovers, my body doesn't like alcohol, although i do like beer and wine, but 1 beer or 1 glass of wine weekly is my quota so i don't have to deal with hang-overs... i am a migraine sufferer and after migraines do feel a lot like hang-overs so i stay away from hard liquors and gladly have never liked them either

now... a good tap beer or a cold bottle of beer, yeah!!

the coffee, there i am a snob if you'd like, mine has to be black AND fresh ground every morning, my days always start with the sound of a coffee grinder... french press is or italian espresso machine are my favorite method, or dripped too, i make sure of having every method to prepare my coffee at home... and only 1 most 2 cups in the morning, then the rest of the day goes on with black, green, and/or white and herbal teas

glad you are trying black coffee, and hang-overs mean you drank more than your body really wanted you to...

Bob Weisenberg comments are enlightening!

alright! off to a Hatha yoga session

Namaste all!

ps. Patti Smith, she knew!