By Lee Glazier
“Can I smoke this in here?” she asked, holding up an expertly crafted dovetail.
“I’d be offended if you didn’t,” I replied with a quick grin before getting back to work. It takes a little doing to create a mood, to conjure up an experience that engages all the senses. Thankfully, the doing is pretty easy—if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it. Abiding means living life like water: always taking the path of least resistance, gradually blunting the hard edges, continuously evaporating and raining down again. I’m the rain, I’m the riverbed, I’m the roots and shoots, the browns, greens and blues.
Anyone who’s taken a leisurely walk in the woods or had a contemplative moment with the stars knows who I am. I’m the feel of pages in a well-read hardcover; I’m the smell of summer rain without the raindrops, carried on the wind from somewhere across the horizon. Uh, whoa, anyway…
The sound of her lighter sparking was joined by the sensual whisper of an old vinyl strip-teasing away from its paper sleeve: Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. It’s not my favorite album, but I dig the mood it creates; sometimes that’s more important than the specifics. If the devil’s in the details, then heaven’s a broad brush.
I sat down the needle, and that familiar warm crackle filled the air accompanied by the skunky, exotic aroma of good weed. I hear that vinyl’s making a comeback, another one of those fads that I accidentally find myself in at times—like black-framed glasses and tobacco pipes. Sometimes the cool is with me, sometimes it gets distracted and concerns itself with other things. Either way, I just do what I do, only aware that it’s the “in thing,” when someone tells me. Being oblivious is a great practice, Dudes.
I took two zafus from a milk crate and walked back to her, the flickering candlelight danced across her face and illuminated her hair like an autumn sunset uplifting the colors of harvest wheat. She smiled. I walked past the 6-inch reclining Medicine Buddha statue—reclining as in it was knocked over by my cat a few months ago and I never bothered to stand it up again.
We sat on our zafus, facing each other, knee-to-knee.
In the dim light, we passed the joint back and forth as Nick Cave crooned from the speakers. I took a small piece of soft cloth from a nearby wooden chest and draped it across our knees. I showed her how to enjoy the feel of it, the texture. We caressed that cloth as if it was the most precious item in existence. Then we closed our eyes and meditated, our fingers intertwined in a new mudra, further bridging the perceptual gap between us.
Piece by piece, the world fell away until only a subtle feeling of being remained. I know a lot of Buddhists say we aren’t supposed to float into the shadows, but I’ve never been much for doing what people tell me to. Like Nick Cave said, “I am a loner, I am beyond recriminations.” The Taoists had no problem sitting and forgetting everything. It’s easier to see the stars at night.
In that soft oblivion, she leaned forward and kissed me. In that intimate, formless place, we rode the waves of primal being and became one.
People ask a lot about whether we can meditate while intoxicated.
Life is intoxication; the living are the tripping dead, Dude. But it is a fine, fine line, ya know. It takes a lot of discipline to be skillfully undisciplined. It takes discipline to engage all the deep sensualities of life without drowning in them—but it’s possible, man, it’s possible. I can’t imagine any other way of living. It’s Tantra, spiritual hedonism. It comes on its own when the mind’s relaxed enough to enjoy itself.
Even though Dudeism is a wink and nod enterprise, there’s a deceptive depth to the philosophies behind it. It takes the best of the world’s religions and philosophies and leaves the rest, and it’s still becoming—always becoming. Abiding is itself a deceptively simple concept until it’s no longer a concept but an actuality. It’s like a delightfully curvy figure hidden under amorphous clothing.
When the album ended, and we finished our post-coital smokes, a tiny hint of awkwardness lingered in euphoria’s wake. You know that you’ve experienced something profound with someone when, after it’s over, there’s a sense of shyness as we put ourselves back together. It shows you how burdensome it is carrying normal around on our backs all the time.
One of these days, I won’t put my face back on again. I’ll live naked, un-knowing all cultural demands and social customs. A wind child, the uncaged loafer, the enemy of progress. The guy everyone tells to, “Grow up,” “Stop dreaming,” and, “Do something worthwhile with your life.” Those insults, coupled with a sense of well-being, are signs that you are right where you need to be, you’re just who you need to be.
Contrary to popular brainwashing, you don’t have to conquer the world. If you can find calm amongst calamity, hope among the hopelessness of this decadent age; if you can find happiness without buying it, then, well Dude, you’ve already conquered the world.
Live your days as a monarch, with your mind and body as your kingdom. Stroll like a lion across the savanna, chase all your own bullshit away with a roar. Life is short, so live it leisurely.
We all know how it ends, so why rush?
“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?” Feel free to like or contact him through his Facebook page.
Editor: Dana Gornall