Perfect Happiness Forever

Meditations_for_HappinessI posted on Facebook asking people what they’d like me to write about. Here is one of the comments I received.

Please write about the belief that once you reach enlightenment you won’t experience any more depression, anxiety… or if you are really enlightened you should not feel depression, etc.

When I first started doing zazen as a teenager one of my biggest problems was depression. I used to be quite certain I’d end up killing myself at some point. Things seemed pretty bleak and hopeless.

Depression for me came in cycles. Things would be going along pretty well and then I’d just get slammed with it. It would send me into a downward spiral that just kept getting worse and worse until I wondered if I could ever feel any more terrible. I felt like one day I was going to get so deep I wouldn’t be able to take it any longer.

The holiday season was always a great one for enhancing depression. There’s less light (at least in the northern hemisphere), which helps make things seem quite literally gloomy. All that “holiday cheer” can make it seem like you’re the only one who’s feeling like crap. Which makes you get guilty for even expressing how bad you feel. December always felt worse for me than any other month.

It’s no wonder why some folks have made a lot of money promising a permanent solution to the problem of ever feeling bad.

Zazen practice has helped me a lot. But not by putting me into a state where I never feel depressed. It’s helped by making it clearer what depression is not.

Depression is not me.

But this is a tricky thing. Because happiness is not me either. Contentment is not me. Fulfillment is not me. Joy is not me. Hope, love, bliss… None of it is me.

A great Zen master once said, “If people knew how dry and tasteless the Buddha World is, nobody would ever want to go there!”

I read that quotation when I first started studying Zen and it scared me. It sounded like Zen was a teaching that was going to turn me into a dry tasteless robot. Luckily I had two teachers who I could see very clearly were not at all robotic. This is one of the values of having a real teacher rather than trying to learn the practice from books and YouTube videos or from teachers who you only ever interact with from long distances through highly controlled means like Skype and such. But that’s a different topic.

The thing we generally want when we say we want to get rid of sadness, depression, anger and all the rest is we want the opposite. More specifically, we want to possess the opposite of depression and all that. We want to be the owners of happiness, joy, bliss, peace and what-have-you. Instead of me+sadness we want me+happiness. Y’know, I should start a meditation scam called Me Plus™!

Anyway… the way to be free from depression is to stop owning depression. But if you want to do that in a way that won’t just wind up getting you a rebound of depression after a few days, you have to learn to stop owning any of your emotional states. That’s the part nobody ever wants to talk about.

This does not mean you’ll reach a magical state in which you are never depressed again. That doesn’t happen to anyone. Never has and never will. I know, I know. There are guys in shiny white robes all over the Internets who say it can and it does and who are happy to sell it to you. But that’s just a sales pitch. It’s like how the folks at Coca-Cola admit that Vitamin Water has no vitamins but they can still legally tell you it does even though it doesn’t.

Because if I told you that after thirty-odd years of zazen I still get depressed, I’d probably end up with only 6 or 7 people coming to my weekly zazen things instead of the hundreds who flock to those other guys’ meditation events… Oh wait… That’s kinda already what happens.

Be that as it may. I still get depressed. The only difference is that I no longer own my depression. It’s not me. But — and here’s the part where it gets tricky — the only way to arrive at that was to learn to give up owning my happiness too.

And here’s where it gets even more tricky. You can’t just decide to do this. You can’t just will yourself not to own your emotional states. You can’t just make a resolution to do this or set an intention.

Owning your emotional states is a habit that you started learning the moment you started learning how to breathe. You were taught both overtly and subtly that this was the way things were done. You were told that happiness was yours, sadness was yours. You were told that there was a you and that you belonged to you.

But you don’t belong to you.

It’s harder to kick this habit than it would be if you’d been born with a cocaine addiction and then given a toot of coke a few dozen times a day for your entire life. There is a withdrawal to go through.

I think instead of calling it “enlightenment” maybe they should call it “withdrawal.” Maybe Zen practice should be called “personality rehab.”

So yeah, in some sense once you reach enlightenment (i.e. go through withdrawal from yourself — though not in the way you probably imagine) you won’t experience any more depression, anxiety, etc. But not because those things will no longer be part of your life and not because they won’t be experienced.

In conventional terms you can still say things like “I feel depressed” because how else are you going to communicate? If you start saying shit like “depression is being felt by what is essentially nothing” people are gonna think you’re a loony. And you don’t want that!

But once you know that depression is not yours, depression itself changes completely from what it once was.

In my own case it still comes and it still feels shitty. But it’s a bit more like having a cold. I know I just have to take care of whatever may have caused the depression — if I can even figure it out, and most of the time I can’t. Beyond that, it’s mostly a waiting game. If I can wait it out and resist the urge to make it my own — which is still there believe me! — then I can come out of it and be normal again.

That has been very useful.

* * *

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April 23, 2016 Long Island, New York Molloy College “Spring Awakening 2016”

October 23-28, 2016 Benediktushof Meditation Centrum (near Würzburg, Germany) 5-Day Retreat


Every Monday at 8pm there’s zazen at Silverlake Yoga Studio 2 located at 2810 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Beginners only!

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Plenty more info is available on the Dogen Sangha Los Angeles website,

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49 Responses

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  1. Jinzang
    Jinzang December 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm |

    I read Katherine Hulme’s very good autobiography of her time with Gurdjieff, Undiscovered Country, about thirty years ago. I piece of advice that I’ve tried to take to heart is that you shouldn’t identify with your states.

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles December 14, 2015 at 7:26 pm |

      My favorite Gurdjieff memoir is the one by Thomas and Olga de Hartmann, “Our Life With Mr. Gurdjieff,” an amazing eyewitness account of Gurdjieff’s early teaching years in Russia and France; followed closely by My Journey With A Mystic, and A Boyhood With G. both by Fritz Peters, revealing portraits through a child’s wise eyes.

      Back in the early 1990’s, in the thick of my Gurdjieff obsession, David Kherdian’s On A Spaceship With Beelzebub was a fave, accompanied by a lengthy and fruitful correspondence with D.K., an amazing writer and poet. He shared several publications from “The Farm” in Oregon, which I still own.

  2. Khru 2.0
    Khru 2.0 December 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm |

    Great Vows for all:

    The many beings are numberless,
    I vow to save them.
    Greed, hatred and ignorance rise endlessly,
    I vow to abandon them.
    Dharma gates are countless,
    I vow to wake to them.
    Buddhas way is unsurpassed,
    I vow to embody it fully.

  3. senorchupacabra
    senorchupacabra December 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm |

    The way I’ve explained it to others is that depression is not the problem, being depressed about being depressed is the problem. Just the same, it means I can’t be too happy about being happy…and so on.

  4. sri_barence
    sri_barence December 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm |

    I’m coming around to this sort of thing in my own practice. I discovered a few years ago that when I look at what I think of as “me,” there is actually nothing there. (But something is looking. What is that?) So it makes sense to me that “what is essentially nothing” is experiencing some feeling. Nicely done, Brad.

  5. skatemurai
    skatemurai December 14, 2015 at 10:23 pm |

    Brad, so your new book will come out on March 2016? Not sooner? Release date before Christmas would be good strategy to sell more 😀

  6. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 14, 2015 at 10:25 pm |

    “Owning your emotional states is a habit that you started learning the moment you started learning how to breathe. You were taught both overtly and subtly that this was the way things were done. You were told that happiness was yours, sadness was yours. ”

    The habits I have connected with my body in breathing, support the habits I have connected with feeling, support the habits I have connected with thought, support the habits connected with my state of mind.

    “Blown out” is a translation of nirvana, if I understand Alexandra David-Neel correctly. The natural breath extinguishes activity out of habit.

    Where is the natural breath, exactly, in the rhythm of things?

  7. Khru 2.0
    Khru 2.0 December 15, 2015 at 5:57 am |

    I’m a lot less depressed when I’m helping other people; also, it’s helpful to just accept my suffering, stress, etc. It’s the attempt to push it away or escape it that brings even more suffering.

    “Suffering is a part
    of the human experience.

    It is safe to feel this way.

    All humans feel this way.”

    1. Fred Jr.
      Fred Jr. December 17, 2015 at 9:27 am |

      10 years of therapy in one blog comment. Check is in the mail!!

  8. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon December 15, 2015 at 6:28 am |

    Some of the recommended homeopathic “remedies” for depression and anxiety are Arsenicum album (arsenic), Ignatia (strychnine), Natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride, aka table salt), and Sepia (dried cuttlefish ink). No, seriously. Of course those substances are diluted to the point that not a single molecule can be detected in the sugar pill or distilled water that is consumed, so the poisonous ones tend to be less fatal than they would be at detectable levels.

    1. senorchupacabra
      senorchupacabra December 15, 2015 at 8:14 am |

      While I’m not a proponent of homeopathy, you do realize that there are a shit-ton of medications that are poisonous to the body and only work at specific, non-lethal dosages, right? It’s the body’s response to non-lethal doses of poison that is actually the healing factor. There’s even a medical term for it, but I can’t think of it right off. Nassim Taleb writes a bit about it in his book, “Antifragile” if you’re that curious.

      Some medications are just straight up poisonous. Most anti-anxiety medications are forms of Benzodiazipines, which are highly addictive and lethal. But, you know, billion-dollar companies paid some scientists to show that it is is “helpful” in many cases, so we just sort of go along with that.

      1. Fred
        Fred December 15, 2015 at 8:40 am |

        Jesus Christ, depression is a biochemical phenomena. You take a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor, or a norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor, and the symptoms stop.

        If the symptons don’t relent in severe cases, you run some electrons through your melon.

        1. Alan Sailer
          Alan Sailer December 15, 2015 at 9:26 am |


          “You take a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor, or a norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor, and the symptoms stop.”

          Sometimes the drugs work. Sometimes they don’t. And sometimes the symptoms just go away. An honest doctor will admit that she(he) doesn’t know why antidepressants (sometimes) work.

          “… run some electrons through your melon.”

          Sometimes electroshock works. Sometimes it doesn’t. If there was a single unambiguous cure for depression I haven’t read of it.

          A quick search for antidepressant medications gives a list of over forty chemicals. If we really understood what’s going on I’m pretty sure that it would be a much shorter list.

          On a personal note I took drugs for depression twice in my life. The first time the stuff worked perfectly. The second time I had such a terrifying daytime panic attack that it convinced me that I needed to look elsewhere.

          I foolishly took up meditating…


        2. senorchupacabra
          senorchupacabra December 18, 2015 at 10:21 am |

          No. It’s not that simple. SSRIs don’t show more efficacy than placebo. Pharmaceutical companies don’t share complete studies for a reason.

      2. The Grand Canyon
        The Grand Canyon December 15, 2015 at 9:03 am |

        The dosage of all homeopathic “remedies” is approximately zero parts per googolplex. Not only is that a non-lethal dosage of every substance in the universe, it is also completely ineffective for treating any physical ailment.
        The beliefs of homeopathy are contrary to all of chemistry, all of biology, and probably all of physics. The beliefs of homeopathy are comparable to magic and witchcraft.

        1. The Grand Canyon
          The Grand Canyon December 15, 2015 at 12:56 pm |
    2. Jinzang
      Jinzang December 15, 2015 at 5:16 pm |

      Let’s not hijack Brad’s post.

      May I just suggest that if homeopathy bothers you so much, there must be at least a sliver of doubt in your world view. I doubt Flat Earthers upset you nearly as much.

      1. The Grand Canyon
        The Grand Canyon December 16, 2015 at 4:05 am |

        Once again, you demonstrate that you do not know how to use logic.
        The promotion of homeopathy by charlatans and the ignorant bothers me for the same reasons that anti-vax propaganda bothers me: it has been proven false countless times, it is harmful to individuals, it is harmful to society, and it leads to unnecessary suffering. Remembering suffering? That state that Buddhism seeks to reduce or eliminate?
        As for Flat Earthers, I’ve never heard of a single instance where the belief in a flat earth lead to someone’s completely avoidable death.

        1. Cygni
          Cygni December 16, 2015 at 7:27 pm |

          I wonder what the people from the Flat Earth Society are on, an overdose of 2C-E? Perhaps 4-AcO

    3. Cygni
      Cygni December 15, 2015 at 6:26 pm |
      1. Mumbles
        Mumbles December 15, 2015 at 7:29 pm |

        Exactly what I do with alcohol these days: micro-dose. A nice hoppy, stoutly, or otherwise potent first beer, then a slightly milder one (or once in a while two) and I’m good.

        To think I once required near overdoses of various substances inc. alcohol to expand my consciousness is amazing to me now…but it hasn’t been that long ago…

        And it IS about that expansive, love-filled feeling at one with everything, happy, glad, giddy connectedness that has cemented the relationship between humans and alcohol since at least 10,000 B.C.

        1. Cygni
          Cygni December 16, 2015 at 5:16 am |

          That’s the way to go, start with something with alot of flavor. I’m getting through my very potent IPA, but have an Irish cream ale bottled and carbing. Beer, nectar of the Gods.

          Not sure if I’m quite becoming fully one with the universe with my micro drinking but it is nice to crack open a big bottle and relax after a long day at work, I’m definitely feeling the love lately. Humans and alcohol, an illustrious history.

  9. Shinchan Ohara
    Shinchan Ohara December 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm |

    Sometimes there’s real depression that really is a brutal, debilitating illness.

    Other times we just need to rest, figure things out, and build up our energies for the next challenge: but we fight it, and call it depression, and make it a problem. That’s how I see it. Apart from what Brad mentioned, there’s always a tension between healing our own body and mind, and dealing with the complexities of social life. Plans fail; relationships end; people die; we get over-worked; we over-commit; we identify with social roles and forget our limits as fragile humans. A lot of times, people have told me they’re depressed, and I’m thinking: no, you’re just feeling tired or sad or lonely, but those feelings mess with your plans or your social persona, so you can’t accept them. I do that.

    There’s five hours per day of dull light here now, and it’s below freezing. I fully intend to hibernate and isolate for a month or so, and do as little as possible. It’s not depression, although it might look that way to a behaviorist. I’m just going with the flow.

  10. tuberrose
    tuberrose December 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm |

    Grand Canyon, I was wrong in my definition of homeopathy. I researched it and checked out the link you sent for the video and researched further. Believe you are too rigid in your opinion and why in the world are you so angry about homeopathic medicine? Listen to the commercials on TV and all the medications being advertised cause side effects that are worse than the disease they’re treating.

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles December 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm |

      For Chrissakes don’t get him started on Keith Richards and The Stones again. All it takes is…whoops.

      1. The Grand Canyon
        The Grand Canyon December 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm |
  11. tuberrose
    tuberrose December 15, 2015 at 3:56 pm |

    Charles Bukowski thought we should all pull the blinds and go to bed for three days when we got depressed. He said that was what he did and it always worked. I read that in an interview and he may have written poems about it but I don’t know if he did.

    1. Mumbles
      Mumbles December 15, 2015 at 4:16 pm |

      He wasn’t just lying in bed, he was also drinking beer and whiskey, smoking cigarettes…a sure fire cure indeed!

  12. tuberrose
    tuberrose December 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm |

    That’s true, he did. I forgot about that part.

  13. Used-rugs
    Used-rugs December 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm |
  14. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 16, 2015 at 10:02 am |

    GC, thanks for Blind Boy Fuller, especially “Weeping Willow”.

    Hijackers, untie!

    “Is it better to let go, or is it better to sit still?”

    Does practice occur when we find our way in this moment, or does practice occur when we find our place where we are?

    It don’t mean a thing, if it don’t actualize that swing…

    “Whoever would uphold the teaching of our school must be a brave spirited (person), only with the ability to kill a (person) without blinking an eye can one become Buddha right where (one) stands. Therefore (one’s) illumination and function are simultaneous; wrapping up and opening out are equal in (one’s) preaching. Principle and phenomena are not two, and (one) practices both the provisional and the real. Letting go of the primary, (one) sets up the gate of the secondary meaning; if (one) were to cut off complications straightaway, it would be impossible for late-coming students of elementary capabilities to find a resting place. It was this way yesterday; the matter couldn’t be avoided. It is this way today too; faults and errors fill the skies. Still, if one is a cleared-eyed person, (one) can’t be fooled one bit. Without clear eyes, lying in the mouth of the tiger, one cannot avoid losing one’s body and life.”

    (Yuanwu, speaking his mind in the intro to the 5th case, Blue Cliff Record)

    “Kill a person without blinking an eye”, isn’t that just being honest to a fault?

    “Wrapping up and opening out”, is that like sitting still and letting go?

    Late-coming students of elementary capabilities, in need of a resting place, indeed.

    As to how the blues gets trucked away, here’s some more of that gate of secondary meaning (faults and errors competing with the frothy waves of the void to fill the sky):

  15. Dogen
    Dogen December 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm |

    But once you know that depression is not yours, depression itself changes completely from what it once was.
    ~ Bradly

    But the thing is this disposition would probably have naturally developed with maturity, regardless on any Zen practice.

  16. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon December 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm |

    Somebody mentioned that Zen Master Brad was trying to sell some books. This might help –

  17. french-roast
    french-roast December 17, 2015 at 1:31 am |

    Depression, despair and self pity.

    I could see myself in most of what you said, but would like to add a few things. Depression is often confused with despair, and in particular with spiritual despair, which some call the dark night of the soul. In this dark night, which may last for years and years, you will feel deeply bore, you will loose all sense of purpose, you will feel the complete meaninglessness and complete impossibility of life itself. You will experience ongoing inner state of humiliation as all your attempt at attaining will fail. From an outside psychiatric viewpoint/view, you will have all the symptoms of severe depression with psychotic occurrence. I was afflicted for many years during my practice by a very corrosive disease; self pity, which was the source of most of my depressive state. As this sense of self eroded, so was the pity for the self and the depressive state. Life is one god dam thing after the other, life is suffering, but it is so because we know deep down that we are whole and complete. Suffering the suffering, being depress because we are depress are all sense of self related.

    Clinical chronic depression should not be confused with depressive state or despair, which are mostly situation related. If you suffer from chronic depression, I would strongly suggest that you seek medical help.

  18. Conrad
    Conrad December 17, 2015 at 2:32 am |

    It’s the body-mind that gets depressed and anxious. As long as we identify with the body-mind, and pursue the satisfactions of the body-mind through our cravings, we will be anxious and depressed. An enlightened being is not identified with the body-mind, and is not pursuing satisfaction through bodily and mental cravings. So they never become anxious or depressed. Their body-mind might experience such things, but since they are not identified with the body-mind, it never affects them. But that is a very, very rare enlightenment.

    People who claim they are enlightened often have no idea that such an understanding even exists. They certainly don’t experience such detachment and freedom themselves. So they try to explain their persistent anxiety and depression by other means. It’s very embarrassing for a teacher to admit that they aren’t enlightened. Instead, they redefine enlightenment to allow for their anxieties and depression, so that these sufferings don’t seem to contradict their claims of “enlightenment”. When we try to fool other people, we have to fool ourselves first.

      1. Mumbles
        Mumbles December 17, 2015 at 4:58 am |

        That’s the man, right there! Check out his “The Sun of Wisdom: Teachings on the Noble Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way”

        I’ve been very lucky, I’m just not a person who experiences depression or anxiety. I have good days and bad days but for example when a kid joy riding in a stolen truck last week randomly ran into our car I just dealt with it and moved on. Years ago I studied Melancholy because I knew so many people who were talking about this state called “depression” all the time and I wanted to have a historical context. Ficino dealt with it, using Avicenna’s term “black bile” saying there was an overabundance of it in the system, and attributing the influence of Saturn, etc. I don’t know. No matter what I read or try to understand I’m always on the outside looking in.

        Then about 15 years ago I fell in love with someone who suffered badly from both depression and anxiety, had been on various kinds of anti-depressants, and I made it my duty to find her a way out of the Inferno. It’s been a long long journey and I can’t say I have any more of a handle on it than before, but it has taught me a lot about compassion. Through this experience of course I’ve found that a majority of the people around me have suffered with these mysterious debilitating states. And it seems to be getting worse. What’s going on?

    1. french-roast
      french-roast December 17, 2015 at 4:54 am |

      It is like a hole in a piece of paper, you cannot say that it is part of the paper, yet you cannot say that it isn’t. You cannot solve these ‘problems’ by making use of Aristotle logic of either/or. It is not either you are in or out, either you are identified with or you don’t, either you are a pure absolute detach observer or a pure blindly attached and identified participant. If, right from the beginning we are whole and complete, why do we suffer? It has no forms, yet it appears! How does it appear?

    2. Khru 2.0
      Khru 2.0 December 17, 2015 at 11:37 am |

      Conrad: you said: “An enlightened being is not identified with the body-mind, and is not pursuing satisfaction through bodily and mental cravings. So they never become anxious or depressed. ”

      So where is this enlightened being who is never anxious or depressed?

  19. jason farrow
    jason farrow December 17, 2015 at 7:46 am |

    it can be the precursor to bliss.
    why does everyone think it’s beneficial to cry when you are sad?

  20. tuberrose
    tuberrose December 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm |

    Crying doesn’t change anything and just leaves me with a headache but it’s supposed to release stress hormones and rid the body of toxins.

  21. Conrad
    Conrad December 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm |

    “So where is this enlightened being who is never anxious or depressed?”

    Ramana Maharshi would be a good example.

    On the Buddhist side of things, maybe Dilgo Khyentse

    1. constantine
      constantine December 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm |

      If you aren’t being sarcastic, but you do in fact believe what you typed above, then I would like to offer you a membership to my exclusive enlightenment club. There’s a $50,000 startup fee, but hey, it’s worth it! You’ll never be anxious or depressed! Ever. EVER. Like, ever!

      1. Fred
        Fred December 17, 2015 at 5:41 pm |

        We don’t suffer because there is no one to suffer.

        But a human brain experiences a physical state called depression.

      2. Conrad
        Conrad December 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm |

        Ramana never charged anyone a dime.

    2. Khru 2.0
      Khru 2.0 December 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm |


  22. jason farrow
    jason farrow December 18, 2015 at 9:48 am |

    i got called faggit farrell so much between grade 10 to grade 12, I actually started wondering if that was the case(even though my last name isn’t farrell…like, if you are going to insult someone, shouldn’t you know their name…) but…i became progressively reclusive. at some point, i even sort of hit such a low depression point that i went a bit manic. i went a bit crazy….how no one else never noticed it, i have no clue. but i knew i was having breaks in reality… it got so bad, that i felt like i had faggit written across my forehead at all times. all i ever saw of three grades were my shoes and desk top. i could barely talk to ppl without turning red. male or female…which made it even worse because if you are so reclusive that you are embarrassed to talk to a male, and you turn red, then you must be gay(0.o)…my grades slumped, i slumped deeper into depression. i started hating to attending school, avoided a lot of classes and ppl. i reclused into playing guitar in the music room, at home, and reading Issac Asimov books. anything to escape. eventually i was kicked out of school because i just could not get out of bed in the morning. i was just so incredibly depressed and reclusive that i just couldn’t handle being around ppl….just before i got kicked out, i met some guys who were a grade younger then me, who asked me to start a band with them. i got kicked out of school, but was hanging around with these friends listening to lots of cool grunge music. we all began experiment with pot that summer…the weirdest thing happened; i pulled out of my depression and came screaming out of the closet. not as same sex oriented person, but as rock guitarists. i suddenly just did not give a crap about what anyone called me, or thought about me. i dressed the way i wanted to, i dyed my hair a million different colours. i started smoking cigarettes, started doing a lot of partying (another group decision more or less), and i cranked up my amp…even odder still, i decided to go back to school and finish grade 12 because the guys who i had became friends with would be there…had i been exposed to mediation at early age, or even my teenage years, i don’t think i would have cared so much about what everyone else in my grade had thought about me. or if i had, i think i would have found my way through that, and at some point the pieces would fallen to together. at some point i would have realized that i don’t have to care what everyone else thinks about me….although, the cold shoulder and disgusted looks from the girls was a real morale cruncher. i think that was more so because i was poor though. it just showed on me in the sea of middle class kids. i was dog shit on your shoe. i would speak to them and get this response like *why is this dog shit on my shoe.* that part sucked….all of that went away when i suddenly had a guise and a *thing.* ppl are stupid.

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