One City

buddha bar.jpg
“You ladies come here often?”

Before Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment at age 35 he was a
confused twenty and thirty-something looking to learn how to live a
spiritual life. He had an overbearing dad, expectations for what he was
supposed to do
with his life, drinks were flowing, lutes were playing, and the
women were all about him. Some called him L.L. Cool S. I imagine
close friends just referred to him as Sid.

Many people look to Siddhartha as an example of someone who attained nirvana, a buddha. But here we look at a younger Sid
as a confused guy struggling with his daily life. What would he do as a
young person trying to find love, cheap drinks, and fun in a city like
New York? We all make mistakes on our spiritual journey; here is where
they’re discussed.

Each week I’ll take on a new question and
give some advice based on what I think Sid, a confused guy working on
his spiritual life in a world of major distraction, would do. Because
let’s face it, you and I are Sid.

Have a question for this weekly column? E-mail it here and I’ll probably get to it!

Q: I’m having trouble meeting people worth dating. Would Sid ever go out to a bar or a club and try and pick someone up? – Anonymous

In my opinion, absolutely Sid would go meet da ladiez at the bar. I think as people interested in a life of openness and compassion we need to be available for love wherever it finds us, be it the supermarket, via, or the discotheque. There’s a few things I imagine Sid would keep in mind when cruising for a potential partner:

1) Have some basic confidence. In Tibetan the word for confidence is ziji which can best be translated as “shining dignity.” It’s the sense that when we are comfortable with ourself we actually radiate that confidence to others. We are magnetizing because we’re so at ease with who we are.

One tool for becoming comfortable with ourself/knowing ourself intimately? Meditation.

2) Be genuine. I for one am all for clowning around and making jokes. A sense of humor is very attractive. A lot of things are attractive about someone if they are actually just relaxing and showing you who they truly are. If you want to meet someone and have a relationship (of any form) it’s worth taking the time to be genuine about who you are and what you are looking for. Which brings us to the next point:

3) Be straight-forward. You don’t need to jump the gun and say, “You’re good-looking. I just got out of a three year relationship and haven’t dated in six months. Let’s do dinner sometime.” However, be open to what energy your potential partner is throwing at you and feel out if it meshes with your own. If you want a long-term mate (which appears to be the case from your question) then it may be worth avoiding a drunken hook-up. If you want just that then maybe a “You’re good-looking, want to come home with me?” might work. I’ve seen that level of directness work for friends. If you want to go home with someone though don’t tell them you’re looking to settle down soon and buy kittens together. If you are looking for a mate then maybe don’t grope them in the bar’s bathroom.

Personally speaking I met my long-term girlfriend at a bar. She came up to me and asked, “Do you come here often?” We laughed but that level of directness and confidence was very sexy and was what initially attracted me to her. I think if Sid were interested in finding a mate he would definitely be open to going to bars or clubs to meet them. Love can be found anywhere, even at your local pub. To turn a phrase it might shine more brilliantly there, like a jewel in a heap of dust.

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