I’ve been observing life a bit more subtly recently causing me to revisit my attachment to sensual pleasures. Early in my career as a Vipassana meditator it was quite challenging for me to give up drinking, not because I loved consuming alcohol, but because I enjoyed the high of escaping the burdens of life for some time and having fun with my friends. It was hard for me to understand how to frame my life if the goal wasn’t to celebrate and enjoy myself. With time, I discovered the strength and value of the balanced love I could grow within. I decided that it was more important to me to cultivate the continuous peaceful positive energy inside me than to jump at the excitement and passion of partying.
As spring has arrived, sensual excitement has returned to my awareness. Passion starts to stir as women wear more revealing clothing. Adrenaline climbs as I start to adventure in the mountains. In general, there are many more distractions to unbalance my mind. The question is, am I ready to give up all sensual pleasures? I know the metta inside me is growing, and the more I’ve prioritized this growth the better my overall life has become, but it seems so extreme to let go of all sensual pleasures, even when I identify them a unbalancing my mind. I know an unbalanced mind causes me agitation and suffering, but I’m attached to this same agitation.
Of course it’s ridiculous to state that I will give up all sensual pleasures. I am where I am with my life, and progress will continue to be slow and steady. I intend to celebrate who I am and to enjoy the ride. I guess I’ve reached a stage of identifying a whole new layer of attachments, and slowly, as long as I keep meditating, I will grow out of them. Retraining the mind is a strange process. Time to meditate.