The Zen of Sobriety

Cravings come along. They pass. In minutes they become a memory. Relieved that you can breathe, you sigh. You think to yourself. You stay calm.

Doubts filter in. You imagine they do at least. They swirl in your head. They probe your new assumptions for yourself. Harass you for as long as you listen.

Then you doubt no more. They pass on.

You search for times long past in your selective hindsight stare…glasses tinkle….heaving chesty laughter bombs….chaotic conversations quickly rhyme and burst….women smile and swoon…

These thoughts echo for some time in rose tint melancholy. Then they too, pass on.

Zen is accepting it all.

Accepting not excepting.

To accept means to acknowledge the existence of something and to let it be for what it is.

ie. I accept that I am a flawed man, who is loco when drunk

To except means to exclude a thing or a person from something else.

ie. We are all going to the cinema, except for Julia who is agoraphobic

I accept that I am a human who has manic tendencies which explode when I drink or take drugs. I accept that I had an interesting and intoxicating past, which is over now. I accept that sometimes I may want to go back to the days before I realised I had a problem.

I accept all these things and I let them be for themselves.

Sobriety and Zen.

Zen is so overused in word and underused in deed.

Think Zen and think calm and balanced, relaxed and focused, unfazed and steady, chilled and kaya.

Think words spoken slowly in maddening noise.

Think simplicity in space and silence.

Think plain colours and cool waters.

For me

For me there are no in-betweens. I cannot maintain my sense of focus with drink on board. I cannot stay faithful to what I know works for me, when I sniff and smoke a little. I crumble into extremities. I bounce into abandoned abysses and feel no need to leave.

For me now, there is only one day to live – One day today and one day tomorrow. One day in the past and one day in the future. There are plans of course. In real life you must plan.

In the Zen world of the mind there are only moments which come and go.

For me problems only exist in themselves. They can be thought about, solved or otherwise and then left to be, until I think about them again.

For me there are no more dizzying wobbles. There is a steady, controlled obliteration of all and of nothing. There is nowhere I really need to be.

Happy mind, happy time

Do not confuse Zen with laziness nor ignorance. Do not confuse Zen with socialist free love. Do not confuse Zen with remarkable intelligence. Do not confuse Zen with something that hippies do. Do not confuse Zen with something that hippies have.

Zen is you in your happy mind, in your happy time. You breathe in the blunt abrasiveness of life and exhale the solutions that you seek. You breathe in the panic and the fear and exhale the knowledge that you’ll be fine.

Or the other way round.

Be in your happy mind. Be in your happy time. Solidify that centrally in you. Assure yourself of yourself and be true to that, in spite of all the challenges.

Be Zen with yourself and all else can only ever make sense.

Even if it makes no sense.

Sober Zen

Sober means not as many extremities. The range of life gets easier. It takes a slice of the crazy and puts it away in a big pocket. Zen lives in the moment. Zen is not on edge. Zen is the edge. Zen knows it is the edge. Sobriety gives you awareness where before drunken monkey man reigned supreme.

Sober Zen takes time. There is no hurry to begin, accelerate and speed away.

Consumption becomes just another moment.

Practice Zen

Zen is not just an idea. It is a physical entity. It is a thing. It is something you can practice. It is something you can practice in conjunction with a simple life to reveal amazing detail, of which you were never before aware.

Take a moment to observe. In your work, a shop, your local park…anywhere. Take a moment to observe yourself standing there. Feel your breathe inhaling the nitrogen/oxygen mix and exhaling the Carbon Dioxide.

Feel your internal machine at work.

Breathe and watch every little movement. Look at slow motion world…an insect walking, a heavy set man with a ginger beard scratching his neck, an empty crisp packet blowing past your feet.

Observe how you are part of all this, on a road in a country on a land in a sea on a planet in a super quickly spinning rock, speeding at impossible to imagine speeds around an infinitely scalding sun.

Take note of your life

Share Zen

Someone you know will have said it once somewhere – “It was kinda like a Zen moment”

When everything becomes clear and it all makes sense….this is Zen.

Sober Zen is like this daily. Everything is clear and makes sense.

This should be shared.

Find your Zen.

Practice your Zen.

Then share your Zen.


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