the unhistoricist

I’ve done Zen and Vipassana (Theravada Buddhist) meditation. More recently I’ve also tried the tantric breath and sex exercises. I’m going to stick with the latter.

I’ve been attracted to Zen and Theravada for a long time—since my teens. Its sparse and focused aesthetic appealed to my puritan tendencies. No complicated metaphysics, no need for gods, no demands to be faithful or dogmatic—just practical exercises and enigmatic statements. A few pointless rituals, genealogies and guru worship have accumulated around it. But the direct, bare-bones teachings are still easy to perceive underneath. It is an Appolonic approach to enlightenment: Rational, steady, refined and distanced.

I liked Zen and Vipassana because it was just like I behaved anyway:  intellectual, self-disciplined, out of touch with my emotions and sensuality. The endless hours of sitting, the ‘stillness’, the ‘witnessing’ of thoughts and emotions—not all that much different from years in the archives and library…

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