I Need to Get Zen

 Photo by  Melvin Thambi  on  Unsplash

Photo by Melvin Thambi on Unsplash

I don’t know the first thing about Buddhism, getting Zen, meditating, or anything that has to do with quietly finding inner peace.

But by God, or Buddha, or whoever because I have no clue — I need it.

I need some fucking peace in my life and haven’t found a way to get there yet, but every day I feel more wound up as my mood gets lower and darker, and I feel like I’m slowly spiraling down into something I might not be able to get myself out of.

I’ve had a short and impartial relationship with religion.

I didn’t grow up in one, so I was mostly afraid of organized religions after being exposed to so many Catholic funerals as a child and then some Baptist ministries with my best friend in high school.

So, by the time I was old enough to drive myself to my own church, there wasn’t one I wanted to go to.

Of course I ponder the mysteries of life and the universe, but I’ve never felt like a very spiritual person, and I definitely am not the type to subscribe to any kind of dogma.

I’m even wary of the history of religions. If I am going to believe in something, I want it to be true. I want the people spoken about to have actually existed. I want living proof that something true exists.

A few years ago I started going to a Unitarian Universalist church with my best friend and roommate.

I loved the atmosphere of the place — the friendliness of all of the people, the community aspect of it all — but I didn’t find peace in any of their rituals, even though so many of them were borrowed from all different religions, and the church celebrated everyone.

It is a church that is very rooted in social activism, which I also love, but it wasn’t giving me that spiritual oomph that I was going for, so last year I stopped, and since then have been sort of floating between self help books, trying to figure out how to find some peace in my life when I feel like there is little chance of any being found.

We aren’t living in very good times right now, and there isn’t too much to be happy about.

I am not in a good place in really any areas of my life. My finances are in shambles of debt and I barely make $1000 a month so the debt isn’t getting paid while I try to write my way out of this whole I’ve dug myself into.

I have lost all my close friends to moves and neglect and falling outs.

I haven’t dated in about six years, and the loneliness parts of my skin feel have written stories about the hands and people they miss.

I just need something good and peaceful in my life.

Something to get my mind off of the shit and maybe lift me up into a better place in my mind and my life.

Hence, enter Buddhism.

Learning something new, like a new religion, how to meditate, how to find peace — that is exactly what I need right now.

I feel the need to dive in head first in the only way I know how — by going to the library, which is where I’ve come today.

I’m checking out ‘Why Buddhism is True’ by Robert Wright, and ‘In My Own Words — An Introduction to My Teachings and Philosophy” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

I am not sure if this is a good start for me or if there are other books that would be more beneficial to learning the way of … getting zen like, but I would welcome any suggestions or feedback if anyone has shared a similar journey.

Wish me luck, and I wish you all peace and love — I wish it for all of us.