this is a series of blog posts sponsored by generous contributors who helped cover my renewal costs for this site. Next up is Rob Wickings (@Conojito) who I hope doesn’t mind me talking about Buddhism badly for  a little bit.

Bliss

The human race is a marvellous mould, a creeping infection that can spread and exist anywhere and everywhere. And we, as part of that mould, have individually the characteristics of it. We adapt, we spread out our consciousness to fill the space we allow for it, and normalise any experience until even the most extreme conditions become background.

Our human brains adapt, given any harsh environment or background agony we accept and weave it into the containing narrative of our existence. It’s one of our biggest strengths but its also why eternal states of bliss promised by most of the world religions must be bullshit. We simply can’t do it, if in an eternal state of ecstasy we would simply recalibrate our mind settings and the ecstasy would become normal. We can only handle small moments of joy, bliss nuggets embedded in an overall malaise of human experience.

By this rational these moments are rare, so for a truly happier, more blissful life me must become adept in, not seeking these moments out, but recognising them when we have them. So these are some of my moments of bliss.

  • A really enthusiastic excited dog licking your face and you being too paralysed with laughter to stop it.
  • The texture of the tiny bit of denim you’re chewing between your teeth.
  • The shock of how salty the sea is the first time you swim in it after a while away.
  • The feeling of a big comfortable hoodie after being wet and cold.
  • cinnamon flavoured anything.
  • when your dad drove over a hill or bump too fast and your stomach flipped over.
  • ice cold beer.
  • Shuffling a new deck of cards
  • the dust in the bottom of a packet of Spicy Trans-form-a-snacks
  • being in a tent when its raining.

I like Buddhism its one of the few religions that I can get behind and would probably take up if it didn’t require so much discipline and allowed me to eat all the meat. One of the concepts stolen from Buddhism by rabid self help jerks and new age wankers, watered down and spunked into the idiot public’s ever eager face is the practise of ‘mindfulness’. And while New Ager Baby Boomers can take a short yogic leap off a big fucking cliff, Mindfulness is perhaps one of the most pleasing exercises to do and should be taught in schools.

Mindfulness is when you become so conscious and aware of the moment, by just reflecting on and allowing the tiniest sensory feedback to encompass your experience of the world that all thoughts, desires and worries of events both future and past just recede. its like not just eating a sandwich, but really eating a fucking sandwich. These moments are bliss.

I suck at surfing, but took a surfing tour anyway. Yes every night we ate barbecue and drank and partied and howled at the moon. But every morning as fresh as a daisy in the cold pre dawn we would be in the car park putting on the wet-suit and trying to remember which parts of this particular beach were deadly. As I said, I sucked, but part of surfing is waiting. You sit on the surfboard and wait for a wave to paddle into. You can’t just paddle after all of them, you have to wait till its right. You can spend what feels like hour communing with the sea trying to guess its every ebb. And after while it’s like watching the world breathe.

That to me was bliss.


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