Thursday, March 21, 2013
Distraction or Inspiration?
There is only one cure for this snowy bleak second day of spring. A nice glass of red wine, Van Morrison's Hymns to the Silence and a pot of boeuf bourguignon on the burner. A roaring fire would complete the picture but my current humble abode will not co-operate in that department so I will light a candle and imagine.
I have been reading quite a lot of Buddhist wisdom lately and I gotta say I am not entirely sold on all of it, particularly the bits referring to no alcohol as part of the path to enlightenment. I also read a lot on health and nutrition and there seems to be a contradiction there regarding the consumption of red wine. Thumbs down from the Buddhists and thumbs up from the nutritionists. Let me be clear here. I am all for clear-headedness and certainly understand the dangers of over-abuse and alcoholism, but complete abstinence is a stretch for me.
I enjoy a couple glasses of vino - not daily, but when the mood strikes and there is nothing like a frosty cold brewski after the 18th hole or a hot day in the garden or after a well-played tennis match on a hot summer day. I see it as almost medicinal the older I get. The Bhuddists see it as an addiction to distractions.
Does this mean I cannot find true enlightenment? As I question my motivation to pour a glass of wine on a cold snowy evening, my internal instincts still signalling hibernation is not over yet, I allow this elixir to flow through my bloodstream, sending warm, calming vibes over my body and brain. Is this wrong? It feels so right. It actually feels like what it should feel like all the time. Relaxed, no anxiety, peaceful. And is that not exactly what enlightenment is supposed to feel like?
So what if the Bhuddists have it all wrong and all it takes to reach enlightenment is 8 ounces of the beloved fermented grape? Not only does it produce these feelings. Suddenly truths you might otherwise deny or keep hidden from others tend to reveal themselves. This can go either way. You can feel more at ease speaking them sometimes or you can say more than you should. Either way, it's honest.
And from my perspective, authentic living requires honesty and truth.
So, as with everything in life-moderation shall prevail. A little nod to Bhuddist wisdom with a Shiraz chaser I say.
My definition of living authentically.