Wake up at seven thirty am. Read a book. Not a full one, I’m only human goddamn.
Meditate. Write three stream-of-consciousness pages of writing. Write a blog post.
Then I went to this climbing gym. Rock climbing has been something I’m getting into, and a good friend has graciously been taking me out on actual crags. But they’ve been opportunistic excursions and I want to put in more serious work. Ever since my younger days, I’ve adored climbing. Any rock climbing wall I had to top.
So I went to this gym and messed around on routes. I’ve never been in a climbing gym before. But you’re supposed to climb these set paths. An instructor will set a course on this fifteen to twenty foot wall where you only use green holds, or orange holds, or whatever. And the walls are planed too, so it’s more difficult than climbing a flat face. They then rank the courses on a V scale, one to sixteen with one being the easiest. I didn’t know any of this, so I looked like a dumbshit jumping around on all these different colored holds thinking I was rocking it. Wondering why it was so easy.
I hit the gym and found out I’m a mid-level climber. Striking up conversations with passing people was fucking awesome.
I’m a new kid to climbing, but it was still fun talking about crags in the area, what climbing trips they have planned, what routes they were having trouble with in the gym. I stayed at the gym until my arms were so sore I couldn’t get five feet up the easy faces. Maybe two holds up, my arms would give out. By the end, my hands were bleeding a little and my body was spent. Fucking sweet.
Later that night, I drove to St. Mary’s college.
I’ve been bummed I’ve not been at college parties. I’ve written about it. It doesn’t need to be rewritten. But I visited a friend of mine, and there was apparently this massive party that weekend I was visiting.
My buddy I hadn’t seen in ages and I went. The party was in this house on the water. Beautiful estate. St. Mary’s is in the countryside so there were stars. It’s said on a good night you can see the Milky Way. There was a bonfire to negate the hellish wind that was blowing in from the coast. A keg inside that had such low flow, I thought it was out at the beginning of the party only to see it still in use hours later. There was a band playing in a heavily tapestried room. Music that could be heard outside, in the whipping wind. It was frigid. A porch upstairs. Maybe a hundred and fifty people.
And I was bored. The people I’d came with were okay. Nice guys. But clearly, they were at college. They were partying. They had classes and shit, didn’t know what to do with their lives. Just trying to fuck girls and get smashed. No one to learn from.
It got to a point where an hour in, I just left my friends and went to sit around the bonfire. I sat there for probably half an hour. Then I went inside, found my friends to see what was up, and got bored again. Go back outside to the bonfire and think.
This is the time to introduce Ryan.
Ryan trips on LSD a lot. And shrooms. He dabbles with DMT. He was the roommate of the friend I was visiting. He’s a wind surfer. On top of his dresser was a book. I’m sure it wasn’t required reading; Early Teachings of the Buddha. It featured lectures and a writings from The Dhammapada, which I’d read. The Dhammapada is a collection of the Buddha’s teachings.
And I tried to talking to this guy because I thought he might be interesting. And he was kind of a dick.
Now, let me be clear — he’s probably not. He probably had something on his mind, because while I was sitting around the fire in preponderance, so was he. He didn’t really talk to anyone. He stared into the fire like I did.
I’m fine him and I didn’t talk. He’s probably a really intriguing guy. But everyone has their own path, and if he felt that being a dick was the right call when I said hello then that’s his choice. He’s probably looking for something.
But now I wish to say something. It’s not necessarily because of Ryan that I’m thinking this. I have a very small sample size to judge his character.
But; when you’re on the path of knowledge, truth, and living a virtuous life — stay humble. It’s in every teaching, everywhere. Masters of all kinds preach it.
I am still learning.
Humility. Just because you read books about philosophical teachings. Just because you trip on LSD. Just because you are in search of truth — it doesn’t mean you’re a better person.
Stay humble. Stay kind. What is all that learning, and knowledge, if it instead closes your mind?
I always try coming back to this lesson because it’s something I have yet to learn to my core: always be kind.
I can be an asshole sometimes. But always, always try and bring more light to this world.
Never be an agent of darkness. If you want to live a virtuous life, it’s done in that small moment when you really want to act like a dick but you say something kind instead.
That’s where the battle is won. The small kindness define your character.