(I also got to experience that tumultuous rush of feelings and insights that only come from discovering something you reeeaaally don’t like about yourself. First, I thought, I’ll add a blurb about all of my accomplishments.
Wasn’t it vulnerability researcher Brene Brown who charmingly referred to her own tumultuous rush as a mental breakdown in her viral 2010 Ted Talk…or was it a spiritual awakening…I can’t remember) And because, like I said, I am a really good Buddhist practitioner, I sunk into the abyss of these questions while I created my profile. No pictures that made me look too goofy, or too serious, too fat or too skinny. I wanted to get this point across: I AM a young, sensitive, attractive gay male who is actively engaged in several spiritually based, contemplative communities. The stuff about insecurities and vanity or any of the other things I am red-handedly guilty of feeling on any given Tuesday at 2 p.m. Those accomplishments that are framed and hanging up on my bedroom wall. All of the exciting things, none of the weird things. And so, after carefully curating a dating profile replete with words like “authenticity” and “purpose” and “organic kale”, I had successfully shared with the world the perfectly dateable me….right?
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The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi, Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire.
The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all festival of colours, where people smear each other with colours and drench each other.
Its a strange story, some of which remains mysterious. Every once in a while I would hook up with someone that way, but it was few and far between.
One of the other responses, a week or so later, proved to be more interesting.
This is a confessional piece about a recent…[ummm manic]…online dating episode I had a few weeks ago. Now take that pull, that force, give it digitized-crack and red-bull and make it accessible at an instant.
Retrospectively, I know why meditation is important to me. This is what I experienced after one weekend of online dating.
I meditate so that I can reflect on my experiences, both the delightful and the painful. [or should I say, a failed attempt at online dating because you need to have actually gone on a date for it be considered dating…right?
And in that stillness, I sometimes find the courage to ask myself some uncomfortable questions. [chants to himself under his breath: vulnerability and courage are one and the same, vulnerability and courage are one and the same, vulnerability and courage are on and the same] Ok. ] But because I am a really good, only slightly novice Buddhist practitioner, I realized that the whole thing of it, the whole process of creating an online dating persona—the choosing of the profile picture, the filling in the description portion, and the people that I found attractive enough and interesting enough to actually meet for a date–was an opportunity for self-reflection.