(Playing with Papayas).
How can I be indignant at men who rush sex if I rush food?
We are all driven directly or indirectly by either sexual or nutritional pursuits… or by a threat to our survival.
It could be argued that if there is any point in it all (it being life the universe and everything), then it can only be now, in the moment.
So when we find ourselves at that recurrent end point of those pursuits: with a sexual partner, with food in hand, (and, as an aside, safe from danger) we are therefore, fundamentally speaking of the pinnacles of our existence.
These are the highlights of our lives. Yet we chomp or thrust our way through them rushing and often completely missing the moment of premium enjoyment. We race through to the finish, bypassing many more opportunities for subtle but wondrous moments to occur.
The attainment of the goal is often almost immediately replaced by a similar, though now altered, craving. This pattern takes our minds away from the moment we now find ourselves in. And we bypass satiation.
Are others familiar with the disregard which I have found often (not always) to follow these moments?
The turning away from a playmate, the immediate search for a dessert or surveying the mental catalog of what we might possibly want next (possibly a cigarette?) or in many cases just rushing back to clock in after the lunch (half) hour.
A friend argued that life is about much more than fucking or eating or running away.
And, of course, he is right. But my train of thought does align itself with his rebuttal. By learning to be present, i.e. through mindful practice, we begin to understand his thesis. We can learn to appreciate the other things in life through the pure form of meditation or through giving our love and attention to any craft, music, skill or intellectual pursuit.
All of these teach pursuits us the beauty of existence outside of our animalistic drives. My argument was that leading a life that aims towards these singular moments is not likely to be fulfilling.
Though I present this logical argument for a more mindful life, in my experience the dissolution of old and deeply-engraved habit patterns is often a long and arduous journey of self-examination, self-directed tough love and frequent relapse and regression.
I have recently started to reap the subtle but noticeable rewards of this painful self-scrutiny. Almost two years ago I first encountered the mindfulness technique, learned a bit of intuitive yoga and sat, then served in Vipassana courses.
Like many enthusiastic first time Vipassana goers, I tried extremely hard to practice stony equanimity to all strife that occurred immediately following the course. This wore off pretty quickly, much to everyone else’s relief, and, admittedly, my surprise.
For now I’ve stopped trying to thrash myself into mental discipline and am enjoying a little break from structured meditation and yogic environments. This space has allowed a more natural desire to practice mindfulness in little chunklets of concentration or cloudlets of observation, here and there as is appropriate.
More and more frequently it has occurred to me to become aware of myself, my thoughts and my bodily sensations and to accept my observations (though this is sometimes, okay often, a struggle). I have no doubt that it is a good thing.
Subtlety has been the salient feature of the improvements to my life recently. But more noticeably I have on recent occasions felt surprising strength and conviction during admittedly fun but rushed canoodles and have removed wayward hands in favor of a more virginal outcome.
Anyway I won’t bang on too much more.
I feel it is relevant to explain that I was wrapping my lips slowly round a juicy, wet piece of papaya as these thoughts occurred to me. I felt its texture with my tongue and let the moisture run all over my face as I held it in my mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. Then I quickly chomped down the rest of it as I wanted to go and write all my sudden revelations down.
Daisy Tali recently found out that her Chinese/middle name translates to Tower (Ta) of Power (Li) in mandarin. This pleases her greatly though she also knows that in some other dialects Ta may be any kind of container or vessel so anything from a submarine to a Tupperware box. Li also has ambiguity, often referring to positive attributes connected to wisdom and truth etc yadayada. It also apparently means plums.Editor: Lara C.
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