My nephew Ben is out here visiting me from Knoxville, Tennessee. He just graduated high school and his mom (my sister) gave him a trip out to sunny Santa Monica to visit his groovy uncle as a graduation present. What do you do with an 18 year old? Some of the Suicide Girls offered to take him swimming with them on Saturday. So that should be fun for him. But what do I do till then?
In any case, I'm not able to blog much with him hanging around. But I did want to take a moment to skewer yet another phrase I'm sick to death of hearing. And that phrase is the ever-popular, "in the moment." No one is allowed to ever say the words "in the moment" again from this day forward. I have declared it. It's yet another of those phrases that I doubt ever had any real usefulness and by now has become completely without meaning or merit. So just stop saying it. OK?
I'm also thinking I'm gonna stop doing so-called "Dharma talks." Maybe for good. Maybe just for now. I've just started to notice that anytime I talk what people stereotypically think of as "Buddhist stuff" I end up being kind of like a tamboura. You know what those are? It's an Indian instrument that makes a droning, buzzing sound. Listen to the beginning of Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles. That's a tamboura. It's a really beautiful sound, very hypnotic and lulling.
Sometimes I'm talking and I look out and I see people get all glassy-eyed and start nodding whenever they hear certain buzzwords. I've seen this happen to other speakers as well. It's almost as if you could just stand in front of people and literally go, "Buzz buzz buzz buzz DHARMA buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz MINDFUL buzz buzz buzz buzz SKILLFUL MEANS buzz buzz buzz buzz YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE" and they'd go away all blissed out and satisfied. So, at least for now I'm giving up on the so-called "Dharma talk" business.
Some folks who come to my Zen things on Saturdays have been complaining I'm not giving what they consider to be proper "Dharma talks" anymore. I just don't think they've been ever paying attention in the first place.
Anyhow, if I'm invited somewhere specifically to give a talk, I'll give one. A damn good one. With jokes and stories and whatever insights I can muster. And, of course, I'll do promotional stuff for my books and whatever. That's fine. But no more droning on about stuff that people want to sleep to.
Here's my new favorite comedian Eddie Pepitone.
Thursday, June 05, 2008