Saturday, July 11, 2009

Zen and Clubbing

Alan Watts

“We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

- Alan Watts (American Writer, Thinker and Interpreter of Zen Buddhism, 1915-1973)

For this past week, I've been going out to several clubs. I went to Boogie Bar, 90-Degrees, Nocturnal and Mausoleum. Its totally not my scene, but I'm accustomed to partying and living it up under the right dose of alcohol. Drinking makes you lead better in dance without letting your subconscious mind fuck up your game. Talking to chicks becomes a natural thing. It's a recreational activity that guys like me take part in simply to boost confidence (hence the term "liquid confidence").

However, in Zen Buddhism, every sort of alcoholic beverage is looked down upon as a shameful act. I can understand why they would be but its alright. Gluttony is not a very high virtue (understatement), drinking causes the mind to waver, distracted in its own reptilian impulses. Without our neocortex, we would not think clearly, run into walls and the only two options of activity left would be to either fuck it or kill it.

Anyways, back to my week club marathon.

I own a business with a partner of mine. Recently we've been digesting this business seminar on the value of focus on an activity, in order to avoid multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is a detriment to the soul of production. Sure, things get done when you're multi-tasking, but its not the same when you focus on one aspect of a business and get that done correctly and with quality. So the value that we took from that is that time should be managed in two quadrants.

T-Time and Re-Time

T-Time is basically your talent time in which you perform your 2-3 hours of work diligently displaying your ethics in labor. Your true efficiency and magic of work.

Re-Time is your rejuvenation time or your relax time. Activities that recharge your energy so that when work comes around you will be ready to do your magic all over again.

This past week has been entirely filled with Re-Time. ... Too much of it.

Dancing is a special element of the human experience. When we're engaged in music, the body and mind are connected and harmonize with the sense of sound. Alan Watts said it perfectly, "when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey."

I'm not condoning that a meditative practice is something to be shunned away once dancing becomes a solid art in replacement of meditation. If possible, do both! To dance is to use your body more than your mind. To meditate is to mix both body and mind equally.

One more thought before I go:

T-Time and Re-Time is meant to create a balance. Even Ben Franklin said that there are 3 periods of time in your day, each spanning intermitently in 8-hour shifts. 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play and 8 hours of sleep. T-Time and Re-Time are the first two shifts.

Buddhism takes into account the value of self-improvement, so time-management is never neglected. Zen Buddhists don't just sit around on sand bags hallucinating all the time, they work too and they are the best party animals around.

So take balance in your activities. Your life is not a solid color of play nor of work, it is both. Get your mind and body to opportunistically take advantage of a flowing schedule. It'll never bore you because it is, was and always will be part of this great life.

Live peacefully