Today’s Hike: 7-18-2009

July 18, 2009 · 1 comment

Thank you, Scott, for lending me The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  I can’t say that it’s life-changing just yet, but I’m only halfway through.  Perhaps I’ve read too many books about zen at this point to be particularly disturbed by his implications thusfar.  We’ll see – I still have the other half to read.

Tonight I’m meditating on my pride.  Even as I write this.  I’m burning a 6” white taper, into which I carved the word “pride”, and I’m considering the various manifestations of my pride in my life as I watch it burn.  I am, of course, also blogging and listening to some live Led Zeppelin as I do so.  Am I a zen multi-tasker?  Hell if I know.  White is for purity and cleansing.

Tomorrow, I’ll take the melted wax with me and bury it far from my home. 

I’ll be hiking Blackhead Mountain with my friend Jack in the morning.  As the Catskills are dear to my heart and a comfortable place for me, I am tempted to wonder at the implications of burying the castoffs of my pride-cleansing candle in a place to which I’m sure to return.  But then again, I tend to think too much – I take things literally when they’re meant to be figurative and vice versa.
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I hope that Jack and I won’t be too tired from our hike to stop by the Rosendale (NY) street fair and visit with our friends Nicole and Johnny.  We’ll see – the hike shouldn’t be all that hard.  The views from the summit of Blackhead are some of the most dramatic I’ve seen in the Catskills.

My pride is the root of many of my most glaring (to me) character defects.  It is a tool I use to preserve and protect my ego and leads to things like rationalization and self-justification.  These two are my favored methods of comparing myself to others and making excuses for myself when I don’t measure up to my standards.  Hell, my pride is even the source of those standards.

Like the kid in the novel, there’s a lot that I need to let go – and my pride is a big one.  So I’ll bring a copy of Desiderata with me tomorrow and read it as I bury the remnants of my candle.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Scott July 18, 2009 at 11:14

The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.


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