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    May 8-14: no intoxication


    Try not to intoxicate yourself


    When you do find are (almost) intoxicating yourself, note what goes on in your mind.


    Refresh this precept every day



    I am using this snippet of the last talk as a guide to what counts as intoxication:



    Stim Morane: Well ... I'll claim something broader:
    The strange fact is that EVERYTHING in life can be the occasion for a kind of intoxication, a "looking away" from your enlightened nature, which includes everyone else too.
    Even meditation practice can be misused this way.



    So what matters is that you use something to look away from what is. I believe that some kind of intentionality is needed to count as intoxication: if I don't see what is because I am in a hurry, I would not count that as being intoxicated, unless I caused myself to be in a hurry with the (conscious or unconscious) intention of running away.



    I have found out it's not just that I can use everything to intoxicate, I actually do that. I use books as intoxication, computer games, food, ideas. Checking the internet works well too. Just thinking of things I want works too. And the idea of tiredness (with or without real tiredness).



    New form of the resloution:


    I resolve not to do anything that keeps me away from reality and especially not with the purpose of not seeing (etc) something.


    When I do that, I start feeling restless. Like a mental itch.


    And then I want something to distract me.


    I can also take a breath and reconnect, to me and the world. But usually I don't.



    I will need some rules.


    No alcohol, no computer games. Checking of e-mail, forums and wishlist once an hour at most (use mindfullness bell). If I need a break, I can do a 9-second PaB mediation. If I need a larger break, the Ta'i Chi form.


    And within 10 minutes of writing that down, I open minesweeper.



    The idea of this was to be more open, more here. So why don't I listen to the sounds my children make?


    And when I do take a sandwich, I'm not paying full attention to that either. At last I am noticing that, when I wasn't before.


    And now I'm looking at maps of the distribution of the swine flu. I'm not really interested in those, it's just my mind looking for another distraction. Stop doing that.



    This is pretty hard. I see myself starting a computer game, tell myself I shouldn't do it, especially as I've made this vow, then I do it anyway, and make excuses to myself.


    I need to get looser and tougher at the same time.



    Guilt only makes things worse. When I feel guilty because I am not following the precept well enough, instead of following it better


    I suppose you could use guilt as a sign as well. I'll have to try.



    We also discussed this subject in this PaB session – we call it "escape" instead of intoxication, but I think the basic idea is the same, and it definitely was inspired by this.




    As if to prove that anger can be an intoxication as well, I found myself more irritable than usual this week. I did manage to let go some of it as well though. Not reacting instinctively to someone being irritating. It did feel better that way, but it was not easy.



    In the last week, I have seen how often I run away. How often I am not where I am. And how hard it is to change. And how necessary.



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