Haw Haw

OK, as some of you picked up, yesterday’s post was April Fool’s Day Shenanigans.

But, like last year’s prank, there was an outline of truth to it.

Two weeks of meditation at Yoga Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh has been a really cool experience. I really have learned a lot about myself, greatly improved my ability to focus, and I’m much more Stoically aware of my thought patterns and emotions. Deep meditation really does create feelings of incomparable joy (so I’ve heard) and certainly at the level I’ve reached, it produces a feeling of peace, tranquility, and general contentedness. In a word, happiness.

My views on all matters political and supernatural however, remain unchanged.

My first-pass impressions of Yoga are as follows:

1) Yoga is a very beneficial physical practice for strength, flexibility,, and general health. There is some bullshit to it, and there are some flawed rationalizations for beneficial postures, but overall, regular yoga practice is a great (and for the traveling man, portable) way to improve your health.

2) Meditation is an invaluable tool to combat technology-assisted ADHD, and for self-awareness.

3) Skilled practitioners of Yoga, and meditation more generally, really can achieve a joyful, blissful state, and it is more powerful than heroin. Many people have explained the same phenomenon of feeling surrounded by and consumed with love, joy, awareness, etc, and I have felt little flashes of what they are talking about. It is some very real shit.

4) What is this Nirvana? Well, it’s certainly not God. I view it as a sort of hack that people have developed to get themselves high as fuck without resort to actual mind-altering substances. India is full of meditation-addicts, who go about their lives doing little but rant about the joy and love and closeness with God that they’ve achieved. I don’t think they’re making it up. But, unless you really do believe they’re communing with God (which I don’t), you can’t help but view is as something of a waste of a life.

So, conclusion: If your disposition is similar to mine, i.e. a hedonist with a lust for wealth, power, accomplishment, and perhaps a better world, dip your toes into the world of Yoga, but don’t jump in head first. If you ever look in the mirror and see Japa mala beads and dreadlocks, check yourself into spiritual detox, i.e. Sihanoukville, Bangkok or Vang Vieng, and get back in touch with the pleasures of the material world.