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Real Happiness Challenge - Week 3: The Boozehound's Guide to Enlightenment

You've fallen off the cushion. The negative emotion garbage monster has proven too tough to ever defeat. You've tried your luck with "spiritual bypassing," but even that stopped working after a bit – you remained a fidgety neurotic and nasty gossip. No matter how many hours you spent raking your overpriced Zen Garden, the chatter and churning remained. You're close to giving up.

There is a better way. Have a drink! It will not be your last (this morning).

A few more of these, and you'll start cutting out the middlemen. You'll muffle the pain that brought you here. Is that not the entire point? And, minus the better part of a $20 bill, it took you almost nothing to get here! Enlightenment: it's that easy!

At first, the Boozehound Method may stir up those residual feelings of guilt that haunted you throughout your tedious and turbulent "practice," but don't feel bad. All your heroes took this path. Granted, they weren't doing their finest work at the time, but the good news is that you won't have to work much anymore, either. Like them, you'll simply be. You'll be a complete, self-sufficient soul, encased in your cocoon, a celebrity and Thought Leader in a world you fully control.

Your life as you knew it, with its commitments and drudgery, will slip away. That's when you know you're advancing on the path. Before you know it, you will hit Gladwell's fabled "tipping point" – by the time your social circle has disintegrated and your driver's license has been revoked, you will be so numb that you will not care. Whether you're swigging Pinnacle and Steel Reserve in the CNS-wrecking cold outside the Chicago Greyhound depot or in the blistering heat outside the Las Vegas Greyhound depot, you will feel no pain.

And that, bwana, is the worthiest goal of human existence. Minimizing pain. This is what enlightenment feels, tastes, and smells like. You will surrender the control you never needed, but when you ask the universe for more booze, more booze will come to you.

You will disconnect from the rest of humanity, as you've always wanted to do. Strangers will avoid you, overwhelmed by the light emitting from your pores. Even dogs won't bother you any more, possibly because they will be the first to smell your organs rotting, but probably because they also can't handle your light.

You will pass into the infinite having accomplished little and thus done little damage. It's almost over now. In a moment, the complete truth will be revealed at last, and you will be forever free from suffering.

IDP is participating in lineage mentor Sharon Salzberg's REAL HAPPINESS Meditation Challenge.  This 28-day practice follows the the program outlined in Sharon’s New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness for the entire month of February. We encourage everyone to join us; since 2011, thousands have participated in this challenge which will help you develop your meditation with support from the entire community.

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NOTES

1. The above is a work of satire.

2. This week's lessons address, in part, dealing with negative emotions. Dealing with negative emotions is hard. Any effort to do so warrants compassion and understanding.

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