I have told you many times now that life is suffering. I have told you many times that a true Buddhist monk does not need the soothing pleasures of cannabis buds or leaves to achieve the sartori. I have told you many times to discontinue the felonious sending of sweet marijuana buds through the mail– but I never thought you would actually listen!
Each day for the past two weeks I have casually inspected my mailbox, hoping that one of my fans had not taken me so seriously and had sent me some deliciously pleasing weed flowers. But nothing came.
So instead I retreated to the forest for some meditation, which involved long walks hunting for various plants that used to grow there. Hours of walking left me tired, and very sober.
My mind was filled increasingly with just one thought. I went to the village, seeking a friend by the name of Hui Hua, who was supposed to have "the good shit." Instead I was sold a bag containing a few shriveled up, schwaggy brown buds, some sticks, and a few small pebbles. While zen buddhism may hold that there are few more beautiful objects than the humble pebble, it does not make one stoned.
With a despairing heart I threw myself into music.
My latest purchase was a compilation CD from Astralwerks called Source Material. It collects some of the best underground tracks from the French label Source, which brought us Air– a band most zen in a disco kind of way.
The music was comforting at first. Jazzy interludes, disco beats, moogs both cheesy and chunky. For a while I forgot that I had not smoked the wonderful weed in over two weeks. For a while I was able to forget, was able to achieve the zen I had been searching for…
But then, after a few minutes, the soothing melodies of French retro-futuristic pop started to whisper softly in my ear a simple message: it is time to get stoned.
Especially tracks like "Musique Pour Un Enfant Jouet," which sounds like Dr. Dre, Cornelius, and Air Supply having a jam session in Dmitri From Paris’ basement. That song is immediately followed by the 7 minute Bertrand Burgalat track "Kim" which is like sublime sexy disco latenights with fuzzy guitars, keys, and soft California singing… another favorite was Phoenix’s Heat Wave, which is probably the best disco tune recorded in the past 10 years.
The happy disco beats prodded me to visions of glorious green fields of skunky herb, and me running through them naked and joyous in the sunlight of a new day. Something obviously had to be done.
After nightfall I crept out of my spartan room, knowing exactly where to go. Master Yogi Hsu, one of the older monks in the monastery was famous for his cannabis knowledge and intake. In fact, many credit him with first using the word "buddha" in reference to the sacred herb.
However he was also known to be extremely crusty and brusque. Once I had innocently mentioned the pleasures of the medicinal herb, and he had rebuked me sharply in front of the other monks. From that day on, I had kept my distance. But desperate times call for desperate measures…
No sooner had I opened his door and stepped into his darkened room when a lamp was turned on, bathing the walls in a rich amber glow. Master Yogi Hsu sat cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by cone incense and tiny flowers. The old man must have been close to 90, and it showed in his craggy, weathered face.
"Hello Terrence, American Buddhist" he said calmly.
"Master… I do not know what to say… I humbly apologize for this disturbance." I turned to go, shame trickling down my back.
"Wait. Is this what you seek?"
From the folds of his robe the old man produced what must have been the largest, most resin-encrusted, orange-haired, crystallized nugget of weed I had ever seen. My jaw went slack and I began to salivate with lust for the precious plant.
"My son, do not be in awe of the cannabis," the master said patiently. "The cannabis is not to be discussed, not to be thought of, it is only to be smoked– preferably twice each day. It is as elemental as water, or air."
Air…that reminded me. From the deep depths of my robe I produced both a large bong and the Source Material CD.
"Master are you familiar with French Retro-futuristic pop music?"
USOUNDS | 1999