Table of Contents

Presence

Laborious. Meditation is just an empty charade unless I'm having success. Meditation has be lively and playful or it's no use at all, according to my love Leela. The formal meditation practices spiritual teachers teach are useless in themselves. What counts isn't my technique but how I live in the meditation, my presence within it. If I live in it the right way, anything can be my meditation. So I don't waste my time sitting cross-legged staring at a candle. I find something I love and I make that my meditation. On their own, formal meditation practices are slow and laborious. So slow they don't work. We humans don't live long enough to make significant progress by formal meditation. I was stuck in that after I took up recreational drugs.

That's where drug use put me. Pot kicked my mind into overdrive, filling my head with words. The words in my head got in the way of my being present. They came between me and the truth. To be present I have to be quiet inside. Inner silence is a gift of wisdom. I can't find my way to inner silence by sitting and looking at a candle or a bare wall or any of that. I have to surrender to wisdom. Wisdom will take me there. My escape from booze then pot shows what works. The left hand path (Vamachara) is the only path that goes anywhere.

But it has to be by my own left hand, not crap instructions from some so-called teacher.

Cooking. Being present changes my relationship with time. If I can slow down enough inside to turn whatever I'm doing into meditation, I can manifest a touch of 5-space in my doing. I can do a thing wisely by working hard on being present. My laboratory for working on this has been cooking. The first step is to take all the time constraints out of cooking a meal by seeing the whole process, start to finish, as if I were outside time. If I become silent I can see through time a little the way we ordinarily see through space. The meal becomes an artwork I'm entering and I see how all the pieces of the process connect and relate to each other. If I've internalized that vision of cooking the meal as a unitary work of art, I'm never caught off balance by what comes next. I worked on this by slowing everything down to a snail's pace, stopping to breathe and shut my eyes for a moment in between each step. It has utterly transformed how I cook a meal.

Multitasking is the fine art of fucking up several things at once. Meditation is becoming present. Presence requires inner silence. Presence and inner silence are the same thing. If I'm present, my full attention is focused on here and now: where I am now, what I'm doing now. I have no attention left over for anything else. The opposite of being present is being absent, being in my head, being distracted. Being absent is touted as a virtue in the guise of multitasking. But if I'm present I can only do one thing at a time, and that one thing requires my full attention if I'm to do it well.

Capable. Inner silence is a gift of wisdom. Leela used extreme concentrations of cannabis to shock me into a state of inner silence. That glorious moment of awakening was immediately followed by a months-long panic attack brought on by the extreme discord between being inwardly silent and being polluted with cannabis residue. The panic attack was guidance from Leela. Panic forced me to seek help from 12-step programs to grapple with the spiritual part of recovery.

At Marijuana Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous I learned about addiction and was able to make the transition from being a dry drunk to being cured of addiction forever. Leela can do more than one thing at a time. Love itself is capable of multitasking, because time does not exist for love.