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I agreed to meet my teacher in a noticeably quieter spot on campus in order to begin learning the basic tenets of Buddhism and meditation. Upon hearing of his arrival, I set out on foot, searching for the placid location beneath the big tree that he described to me. The night was warm, uncommonly so for this time of year, and the moon almost full and radiating from the calm skin of the pond could only be described as exultant. The grass was cool and the tree my teacher had picked had an eerie surreal quality to it.

He greeted me as I approached, I noticed that he was in full lotus position already and had his eyes closed. I sat down next to him and he implored me to select a position in which I felt comfortable. After attempting seiza and lotus, I settled on the kindergarten Indian style position that offered the least in the way of pain. My teacher began to walk me through metta meditation and I was having a very positive response, thoroughly enjoying the experience. After that we talked for a little while about some small topics and he asked me if I wished to learn zazen, a form of zen meditation. Up for anything after the positive response I had with metta, I said yes.

My teacher explained to me that I should focus solely on my breathing, counting from one to ten and then returning again to one and beginning the process anew. I nodded and took my half-assed position up, closing my eyes and beginning to focus only on my breathing.

So, I got to about eight breaths before the terrible nagging pain in my back shot up my spine like fire. I told my teacher that I was having a hard time holding this position and he suggested that I lay back, but not fall asleep. And so my first attempt at insight meditation was begun again.

Again, I got to about eight breaths before this time being distracted by a distinctly female moan. Returning again to my concentration, I heard another moan, again female, yet different. Because I am afflicted by the sordid curse of testosterone, my mind awoke, straying rapidly from the task at hand. I tried once more to clear my mind, acknowledging that the moans had happened but returning to my breathing as my teacher had instructed me.

I got to about eight breaths, before an incredibly loud car alarm erupted into sound not far away. My concentration shattered, I thought it time for a break to regroup mentally and prepare to meditate again. It all went down hill from there. Out of abject curiosity, I peeked over my shoulder to see from where the moans were coming from.

Splayed out in the moonlight were two of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen, getting it on like there was no tomorrow. I grabbed my skull and cursed myself for witnessing this, knowing now I would be unable to clear my mind in any sense of the word. Only logical, I took another damning look at the two girls. They were like goddesses, with not porn bodies but regular people bodies. For a male with very little exposure to these sorts of things, this kind of scene can be quite exciting.

I related the information to my teacher, telling him that I had become the worst Buddhist ever in the span of a half hour. He assured me I was hardly the worst Buddhist ever, telling me the story of Ahinsaka and his garland of one thousand human fingers. I smiled and listened as he told me of the dharma, of karma, and Buddhist tales from ages long since scorched, all the while thoughts of what was going on behind me burning bright in my mind’s eye.

I offered my teacher some ramen for his lessons and he gladly accepted. We rose to head back to my room and I began plotting the course that would take me closest to the scantily clad women who had destroyed my ability to focus. It was then that I first began to think as a Buddhist.

“This will not make me happy but for a little while, and then sorrow shall follow. It is best that we avoid this situation both mentally and physically.”

My teacher smiled. I smiled.

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