Thursday, September 9, 2010

Meditation and War and the City

I returned Sunday to Brooklyn from a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in Massachusetts. I wanted to take the course because it had been spoken highly of by friends, and also because I felt the need to set aside some time to think through and process the changes and chaos of the last four years since getting out of the Army. It's difficult to know what to say about the course except that it was a lot more work than I expected, and also much more intense and amazing than I could have ever imagined. I'm glad I did it, and I'm going to do it again--even though it's a Buddhist practice and there's a lot about Buddhism that I find troublesome or disagreeable (its essential nihilism, the idea of dissolving the self, the moral hair-splitting that accepts eating plants and animal products but not animals themselves, and the metaphysics of kalapas, reincarnation, and karma, for example), the practice is good and has given me a powerful tool to live better, acheive my goals, and stop being so fucking crazy. Recommended.

Also, when I came back to the city, I found that the first part of my piece "War and the City" had been published in the New York Times vets blog. Very exciting. Check it out.

(x-posted at caribou)

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