One Month Of Quiet

You’ll have to excuse the slow posting recently. If you’re looking for reading material, the SPLC has been kind enough to publish a handy list of the best masculinist writers of our generation. I’m especially fond of the Business Insider headline: A Civil Rights Group Is Now Criticizing Random Jerks For Not Calling Women Back After Sex.

Part of the reason I’ve been neglecting this blog is lack of time – I’ve been bouncing around Bangkok and the Thai Islands, and finishing the first draft of my next book. But over and above that, I’ve been writing less (publicly) lately because I’m not sure exactly what it is I have to say. I’ve been spending more time inside my own head recently, asking the big questions: Who Am I? What Do I Want To Do? What Should I Do? What Can I Do?

I’ve previously mocked people who claim that traveling is a deep, life-changing experience. But one thing I will definitely grant is that solo travel forces you to evaluate who you really are, outside the context of your family and social circle. You also end up spending a lot of quiet, reflective moments on buses, trains and planes. Nothing to do but sit, think, and observe. Often, there’s not much going on around you worth observing, so you turn inward. You become conscious of your emotions, your thoughts, your body and mind.

(Feel free to picture me, from now on, in dreadlocks, parachute pants, and a gravity bong.)

 

Have you ever had a moment where your mind just sort of says: “Well, here I am.” ?

Ever looked in the mirror and thought: “Holy shit. That’s ME.” ?

It’s easy to build a life for yourself that keeps you protected from those moments. As long as you’re never more than an arm’s reach from other people or your iPad, you’ll always be safe from introspection. On the road, things happen: Buses are canceled, flights are late, you’re eating a meal by yourself, you’re shadow-boxing in a park because the cheapest gym charges twenty bucks for a drop in.

(Rolexes for five bucks, nice dress shirts for ten, and I just had a gourmet all-you-can-eat lunch buffet in the trendiest neighbourhood in Bangkok, for seven dollars. But if I want to lift pieces of metal for an hour, it costs me a week’s rent. Go figure.)

Anyways. Travel forces introspection, and I think that’s a good thing. You can replicate these positive effects in your hometown with a transit pass and a willingness to leave your Kindle at home, but sometimes it’s hard to force it, especially if you’ve developed an information addiction over a lifetime of instant gratification. Everyone can benefit from silence, and the ability to tame your mind for even a minute or two at a time. Try it sometime: Sit still and quiet your brain. Let your inner monologue STFU for a minute, or repeat a mantra. It’s surprisingly difficult.

So that’s where I find myself today. Happy, healthy, and greatly enjoying my travel/write/party lifestyle. But can I do this forever? Maybe, maybe not.

 

I’m spending the next month at an Ashram. Three hours a day of Yoga, three hours of meditation. No electronics, no alcohol, no smoking, no meat, no sex, and no thoughts about any of the above. I’m flying into New Delhi this evening, and I’ll be completely off the grid until mid-April.

When I return, I’ll be releasing the next book and a series of posts about my three months of living and traveling in Southeast Asia.

Until then… Namaste, hombres.