In my teens, I picked up a guitar. It came naturally to me, growing up with my 60’s mom and the Beatles as a musical backdrop to my childhood. I thought for sure that I’d grow up to be a rock star, grooving out in front of the mirror thinking about how cool it would be to have that one hit record.
In my twenties, I was in and out of several rock and roll bands. After all, I found a place to really “zone-out.” Yeah, it was cool. I thought I’d end up with a hip groupie girlfriend and my life would just be perfect.
It didn’t take long before I realized that there were guys out there a whole lot better than me, given that it took me years to master three chords. I actually entertained a fourth and fifth chord after a while, and had a complete repertoire of “boy meets girl then hearts get crushed” songs.
Then I thought for a while that maybe I was in the “wrong art.” Those skinny guys with thick framed glasses and the black t-shirts at the museums and art galleries were getting all of the chicks because they were “artists.” What was going on here? It didn’t take any real talent to claim you were “abstract” or “modern.”
In my thirties, I played out a lot of my dysfunctions and old patterns in relationships, and finally came to a place of truth – whatever that was.
My reality, at that time, was living in a house that just happened to have a bunch of rocks in the back yard. I was alone, and sat outside a lot, and stared at those rocks, doing some visioning, and releasing, and some centering, and some grounding. I moved those rocks around a lot, and just stared at them. Getting a girlfriend was the last thing on my mind.
Well, after a few years of moving those rocks around, I was at this wine tasting party hosted by a group of self-professed “cork dorks.” This really cool Goth chick was sitting next to me and her wine glass was empty, so I offered to get her another one, except that I said something about how the empty glass looked so perfect just as it was. She said “Wow, that’s so Zen.”
Hey now! Zen? What the fuck was that?
But I didn’t want to tell her that I didn’t know what she was talking about, because maybe she’d figure out that I didn’t know much about anything, and then from out of nowhere, she started asking me all of these really hard questions. I excused myself, and got the fuck outta there!
I went to the library, and read up on this Zen thing. I read all the books I could get my hands on. This clearing of the mind and becoming one with the universe really worked for me. Turns out, I’d been doing it all along, what, with those rocks in the back yard, and all. And so I got rid of all of my furniture, and began sleeping on the floor with some folded up blankets. I meditated all of the time. I mean, you might call it “going home for my lunch hour from work and taking a nap on the couch” when it was really a daily meditation of just “Being.”
Well, it was a few months later, and I saw that Goth girl again at the Camelback shopping plaza. We had some ice cream, and chatted for a little bit. I showed her some of my breathing techniques.
I told her about how reality was just an illusion, and that material possessions were in the way on the path to the ultimate truth.
She ended up marrying some corporate financing guy with a BMW who ran some website on the side and bought her some Channel earrings with his Platinum card during some corporate jaunt to Vegas on the company dime. Turns out, she was after his money. That was so not Zen!
And so I figured, what’s the point?
Well, I started going to these Yoga classes, and shit like that, and after awhile, I realized that I was the only guy in a room full of girls! They were all really into my breathing techniques and the story about my rocks.
So then, these gals who are into crystals, candles, and “Angel Cards” gave me their phone numbers, and ever since, I’ve had a full calendar! I scored big time with this Zen stuff!
Zen has really worked for me. But don’t you even think about getting into it with any hint of irreverence. This is serious shit. It takes dedication and lots of discipline… and make sure you get some rocks. Not everyone can do it. You have to have a natural talent, like me.