This weekend was full of much celebration, rejoicing and socializing, which of course included beverages of a certain nature. It seems pretty obvious that mixing alcohol and meditation within a short time period is a contradictory practice, but I’ve always had a huge resistance to accept it. I love a strong micro brew as much as any and it is easy to get carried a way, as their high-alcohol content levels encourage indulgence.
However, it becomes more and more clear why Buddhist practitioners advocate that you shouldn’t drink alcohol. I meditated for an uninterrupted 50 minutes on Sunday and it was a fantastic experience. After a sit like that, my mind is more focused and accepting of everything that is going around me. My senses are more keen and perceptive of everything.
When you drink alcohol, you dull these perceptions almost immediately. After several days of dulling, I finally was able to sit with myself and see what I had done.
Does one glass of alcohol completely undue anything you’ve gained? Probably not. But with alcohol, often one glass leads to another, and to another, sending you on a path towards a dull, reactive mind.
Being a 26 year old single male, it’s very hard to be social and not be around alcohol all the time. It will be my challenge to be more moderate while at the same time keeping myself socially involved. Ah, the life of an Secular American… Meditator? Buddhist? I don’t know what to call myself. What I do know is trying to live both is full of contradictions.