We got together at a friend’s house every Saturday, it was freezing cold but we didn’t care. Our hoods were pulled up tightly as the wind howled against us, we were on a quest to get our hands on alcohol and the weather wasn’t going to stop us, in fact, nothing was.
This group consisted of my friends and I – we were all aged between 21-24 at the time. It was the weekend and our routine was to send one of our friends into the wine store to get alcohol, then head to one of their houses to drink all night. We thought we were so grown up and clever, but for me, this was the start of a very slippery slope that would almost destroy my life.
We repeated this routine every weekend to the point where our lives revolved around alcohol.
1 year later
After joining Colombo Dhamma Friends of Mahamevnawa, I found myself beside the stupa at Angulimala Maha Seya after traveling to various sacred religious sites. I started reflecting on my past and the majority of things I’ve done that I’m not proud of but that were under the influence of alcohol. I got a huge awakening after I dedicated myself to practicing sila that day and realized that everything that came along with intoxication was not something I wanted to be a part of anymore. I also realized that I was able to reflect on my past and realize my unwholesome acts because I was committing wholesome acts the entire day. Towards the end, after all the train of thoughts, I was disgusted by the thought of alcohol. Disgusted by the fact that I let a bottle have power over my life and that I how I previously had no shame in allowing it do so since nothing good ever comes from it. I mean what good is going to come out if you’ve been drinking all night and slurring your words? Is stumbling out of a pub cool? Is not remembering the conversation you had with a friend unifying?
At the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that no one can stop putting the stuff into your mouth but you. Nobody can quit drinking but you and if you are looking for that one person that will save you from this dangerous journey of Samsara, look in the mirror.
And with that, I made a vow by the stupa to never ever let another bottle have power over me ever again. That I would not even settle for a glass of wine. That I would refrain from taking intoxicating things just as the Supreme Buddha did. Since then, I’ve never taken my mind for granted and decided to protect this clear and sober mind And turn my life into a meaningful one.
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