OK, we invented the holiday. But these pictures of our recent detour to Austria speak for themselves.
It’s almost cliché that traveling educates you, is good for your soul, has the power to change people for the good and so on … but why is that so? Finding out has been one of the motivations behind the Sagesex World Tour 2010. Here are the first experiences on the spiritual and emotional effects of vagabonding:
We know someone who has tried ACID once. Even if you had expected Sex-Obama to get caught with his pants down, it wouldn’t have been half as exciting as the latest sagesex.com acquisition! The observant among you will have noticed already: From today on, sagesex.com will be bilingual! I had this in mind for a long time, but until now I didn’t have the time to do it – until now! From today I’m no longer writing sagesex on my own. I have been able to find a most gifted and exciting new author to embark with me on the sagesex world tour, reboot his life and this blog. And that’s not all, Julian is my brother, too.
Rebooting your life 2: Two perspectives
Formal introductions suck – I believe that the following two short stories illustrate the potential of this meeting of minds in colorful contrasts. In the past days we have independently thought about the metaphor of rebooting your life…
Stefan – rebooting my life every day
I have used the image of rebooting in the last post in order to illustrate a new beginning, a rebuilding of different aspects of life. Some of these aspects are external and really concern what Eckhart Tolle would call the life situation: a new job, new people, new places …
But for me, the core of the reboot metaphor is an inner restart (Attention – Buddhist propaganda ahead! If you are sensitive about esoteric/religious talk please proceed immediately to Julian’s story for a more sex, drugs, and rock’n roll centered approach!): The feeling that a pure world is arising, beautiful and perfect. Everything is fresh and full of potential. Every atom vibrates with joy and is kept together by love. Beings near and far manifest as female and male Buddhas, whether they know it or not. Every sound is mantra and all thoughts wisdom, simply because they can arise…
This image appears almost literally at the end of many diamond way Buddhist meditations. That is why I really reboot my mind, and thus my life, into a fresh, pure world each time I meditate. Diamond way meditations contain a lot more psychologically effective means as well, but you can use the last paragraph or a similar image that is more appealing to you for rebooting after any kind of meditation or even trance. In order to get there, you might for example simply mind your breath for a while, letting thoughts that arise and the disturbances of the outside world come and go without following them. This conscious, pure restarting process has oftentimes saved my day. It costs some effort, but it’s getting easier everyday when you get used to it by daily practice (the Tibetan word for meditation – Gom – can be translated simply as routine).
Julian – my false start
I open up my eyes and wonder where I am. Neither is this mine nor any bed I am lying on, it’s the living room floor. I’m thinking and thinking, yet the HDD-check remains without success – I have no idea why I’m lying here. But at least the check told me that my mouth feels like I have eaten the Gobi desert. The possibility of getting up is effectively not existent to me, so I roll over and begin to crawl slowly and with a hammering headache to the bathroom. On the way I find a half-smoked joint on the ground and take it with me without giving it any further thought.
When I finally arrive I get rid of my pants which obviously have caught some stains yesterday, and I put on the local jazz radio for relaxation. So the radio is now playing some easy listening “jazz” muzak and I’m clinging to the heater and toilet bowl. While I’m letting myself fall down on the toilet, my head exclaims through nausea and heavy staggering that it’s not ready for such an upright position – a totally failed beginning for a day, a classic false start.
Fortunately, the universe always gives us a chance for starting new. So I grab the lighter that rarely leaves its doubtlessly sensible regular place between the loo and the tub, light the joint and strainedly smoke the last few hits whereupon I fall from the bowl and rest motionless lying here on the fluffy pink bath mat for the next half hour. This time my eyes stay open, still my brain is put on standby, so I can’t even say if anybody has entered the bathroom during all this time. But finally there awakes with me a motivation I’m not used to, the realization that it wasn’t the day that started the wrong way, but me.
So. Brain booted up, raise body. Standing works, time for a change: One button pressed and instead of shallow blues flows strong, punctuatedly beaten march music comes from the radio. Motivation from the tape, simple and effective. Still the world is rotating but this time I’m prepared, holding on to the sink and refilling the internal water supply. On without a break: Shower, brush teeth, pretend I haven’t just seen the tear sacs in the mirror, and already I’m human again and I almost even feel like it. Now I’m ready for the day!
For those of you that the universe doesn’t like that much I recommend a body-brain-reboot emergency case: A joint to take yourself out again after a false start, and a walkman with march music to get yourself in the mood for facing your body and the world afterwards. In case of emergency please break the glass!
A happy new decade to all sagesex readers! The sagesex.com world tour 2010 has suprisingly started in Hurghada/Egypt, where I got unexpectedly invited to accompany a generous Buddhist mom
and her charming two-year-old to a nice all-inclusive resort.
Read the rest of this entry »
I’m actually in a Buddhist retreat for a few days, which is why I will keep this article very short. More on the retreat later on. We were talking about what could be a lasting refuge?
In short, all Buddhists take refuge to what they call the three jewels: The Buddha, his teachings, and the friends on the way.
Buddha is not a name, rather it simply means “awakened”. Neither was or is Buddha some kind of God figure. Instead, the word describes the enlightened state that was first reached by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni in our age. When we take refuge to Buddha, we actually aim to discover the awakened nature that is already in us, as displayed by the historical Buddha.
The teachings, or dharma, were given by the Buddha in order to show the path to end all suffering, or to become enlightened. They are said to be 84,000 in number, and the Buddha is supposed to have said when he died at 80 that he did not keep anything in his closed hand, that he has given all the teachings we could need, so he can leave his body satisfied.
The friends on the way, the boddhisatvas or sangha, stand for the community of fellow Buddhists who often help us to not stray too far from the path to enlightenment. Indeed, I have experienced the sangha to be extremely helpful, friendly, and cool people, but I guess that depends on your lineage.
Tibetan Buddhists also take refuge to the lama – the teacher. In most Tibetan Buddhist lineages, the teacher is an extremely important figure who has the power of immensely speeding up your progress. Which brings us to the topic of the different streams, sects, and lineages of Buddhism. To be continued …
Sometimes a picture can say more than a thousand words … Thanks to the brilliant people of the Aachen lair for finding it.
Avid sagesex readers ought to have noticed by now that I have taken an active interest in Buddhism lately. In fact I have taken what Buddhists call refuge more than two months ago. In this series of posts I want to give a very subjective account of what I am experiencing in this often misunderstood new world.
So what is this refuge I have mentioned? I think this might be one of the most appropriate entry points, since not only does this mark the typical beginning of the Buddhist path, but from what I understand this ritual also unites most if not all of the countless Buddhist sects. More on these sects in another post.
I’ve taken refuge. This might sound a little cowardly to you at first. Far from that. I’m not fleeing from anything. But I’ve started a journey towards liberation, one that might be long and tiring. At least the direction feels right. From what am I taking refuge, and to whom or what? I’ve been told that the Tibetan term for refuge literally means “protection from suffering”, and in a way, this is what Buddhism is about. You might have heard of the four noble truths. The first one is: There is suffering. This first truism is probably the reason why so many in the west, including myself, used to believe that Buddhism is a rather pessimist religion. Here’s why it isn’t.
The second truth says that there is a cause for all the suffering. Still not very optimistic, is it? But it’s getting better, because number three says there is an end to suffering! And, differently from say Christianity or Islam, Buddha says in truth #4 that there is a means to that end, and we might reach the end of suffering even in this life.
If you think about it, though there are many pleasures in life, in the end they all result in suffering. I’m sure that you can think of many ways in which this might happen. One of these is the simple fact that all good things in life end (at the latest when your life ends), and thereby create suffering. That is why, even though we look for refuge in all these wordly things all the time, they can never be a lasting solution. If you are clinging to money, drugs, sex, relationships, family, ideology, people, whatever gets you high, very soon it will let you down.
That is why Buddhists take refuge, or seek protection from suffering. But what could provide lasting refuge? More on that in tomorrow’s installment.
In the far west of Germany there’s a custom according to which in the night before the first of may, young men put up festively decorated birch trees in front of their loved one’s house. The girl is supposed to return the favor by giving a cask of beer or a huge paper heart to the boy later on. I’d always dismissed this kind of stuff as rural, supplicating bullshit. Jodie, however, like most any girl, was really into that kind of validation, asking me months before if I would put up a tree for her. Like any self respecting guy, I said no. Read the rest of this entry »
Jane was the polar opposite of Jodie in almost every way. Brought up sheltered, disaster had struck her in her teens, and she was ever since learning to cope with life in a constructive and active way. It had made her a sweet yet strong young woman, the most trustworthy one I’ve ever met. She had been sticking with me as my girlfriend through quite some hardships for years, and we have been very happy at times. Read the rest of this entry »
Jodie was a survival machine. Her story was that she had been mistreated badly by her single mother, left home as soon as she could, fought for herself all her life. This part of karma is what is usually explained by former lives. Doesn’t matter if you buy it. Not even a real beauty, she nonetheless had learned how to seduce any man she needed for self validation. And self validation she needed a lot. Her relationships tended to get fucked up real fast. No surprises here, no need for psychological analysis, it can all be nicely explained by karma – impressions that shape the subconscious. But that was her karma. How did I get caught up in that, and why? Read the rest of this entry »