Billy Lee: Jhana Junky. Confessions of an Unredeemed Meditation Addict

junky

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Jhana Junky. Confessions of an Unredeemed Meditation Addict
by Billy Lee
162 pages
Hardback $29.95

In this powerful book about meditation addiction, Billy Lee depicts the addict’s life: his hallucinations, his ghostly nocturnal cruises on the Internet, his strange sexuality, and his hunger for transcendence. 

Following its hero on the path from online enlightenment services to vipassana retreats and Zen sesshin, Jhana Junky is a memorable and shocking demnonstration of the meditation equation: ”Meditation is not, like thinking or alcohol, a means of  increased understanding or enjoyment of life. Meditation is not even a kick. It is a way of life.”

The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a meditation addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a meditation addict, or to  hook up with some meditation teacher you found on the Internet. It takes at least three months’ sitting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what meditation sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several retreats to make an addict …
.

The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try meditation? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a meditation addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Meditation wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along, enjoying the cheap thrill of weird mindstates when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start meditating for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need meditation or the approving words of a meditation teacher with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict …
.

When you stop thinking you start dying …
.

This kind of meditation turns the practitioner into a plant. Plants do not feel pain since pain has no function in a stationary organism. Meditation is a pain killer. A plant has no libido in the human or animal sense. Meditation replaces the sex drive. Seeding is the sex of the plant and the function of opium is to delay seeding…
.

Perhaps the intense discomfort of withdrawal is the transition from plant back to animal, from a painless, sexless, timeless state back to sex and pain and time, from death back to life …
.

The American middle-class citizen is a composite of negatives. He is largely delineated by what he is not …
.

You need a good bedside manner with meditation teachers or you will get nowhere. It’s surprisingly easy to bruise the egos of these bodhisattvas. And when you do, they will hold back the goods.
.

Meditation teaching is one of the few professions where the client buys someone else’s luck. The luck of most people is strictly non-transferrable. But a good meditation teacher can sell all his luck to a client, and the more luck he sells the more he has to sell …
.

I was lying there trying to control the fear. I did not know much about these hallucinations. A woman I’d known slightly in Texas had been hospitalized after sitting in meditation, night and day, for two weeks …

Similar books of interest can be found here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s