Friday, July 30, 2004

The Essence of The Hobopoet Path
by Skald

The hobopoet path, stripped down to its barest essentials, comes to just two elements: Experience and Contemplation.

Both are necessary. A variety of experiences is absolutely essential. This means that we do not live the same day over and over again until we die. We seek out that which is new, odd, challenging, different, fascinating. But this is not enough, by itself. A variety of experiences, without contemplation, creates only a driven busy-body... the typical "type-A" personality: devoid of wisdom, greedily acquiring and consuming... the thrill seeker.... the shallow adrenaline junky.

Contemplation is essential.... the careful and relentless examing of one's life. This is meditation. This is choiceless awareness. This is deep looking. We think, we consider, we examine, we observe. But this, alone, is not enough. Contemplation without experience quickly degenerates into "navel-gazing", self-absorption, confusion, and circular thinking: the befuddled academic,... the media junky.... the nuerotic new ager.... the fearful recluse... Devoid of wisdom. Cut off from the world.

As Hobopoets, we require both experience and contemplation.... both of them in massive amounts and both of them throughout our entire lives.

These are the twin disciplines of the Hobopoet life... what unites the vagrant scholar, the dharma bum, the cyber hobo, the itinerate poet, the young homeless professional, the eco-traveller, the sufi, the haiku drifter... These are the yin and yang of the Hobopoet way.... its bare essential qualities. A hobopoet must continually seek experiences beyond their comfort zone and must continually contemplate these experiences and the larger truths beneath them.

This is not a choice between stillness (of body and mind) and action... both are required... each in its proper time and amount. Stillness and action. Experience and contemplation. Such is our path.

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