Fifteen Weeks of Dharma Dating. Anne Cushman goes undercover within the Buddhist branch regarding the on the web world that is dating

Fifteen Weeks of Dharma Dating. Anne Cushman goes undercover within the Buddhist branch regarding the on the web world that is dating

The theory first pops up as bull crap between me personally and my Tricycle editor: as being a newly solitary Buddhist mother, why don’t we upload my profile on a few this new online “dharma dating” websites, and write on my experiences?

The notion is found by me both interesting and horrifying. For years I’ve mocked the thought of searching for a mate just how you’d look for a guide on (“Add This Man to My Cart!”). As soon as, while looking for an utilized sofa on Craigslist, we popped up to the Men Seeking Women area for the appearance, while the adverts all ran together in my own head: 6-foot sofa that is divorced 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. . . .

But lately, many of my buddies have met lovers online; several other people have experienced enjoyable simply heading out for dinners, films, and hikes with people they’d not have met minus the Web. Based on company Online, almost 5 percent of the U.S. population is now listed on Match com week. Arranging times through Buddhist internet internet web sites guarantees something unique: a broad assortment of potential buddies, them all solitary and thinking about connection, and all sorts of sharing a main desire for religious training. So that as a mating strategy, it probably beats cruising a Vipassana retreat.

The problem that is only, I’ve hardly ever really dated.

Within my mid-thirties, We married my university sweetheart, with whom I’d been close friends and partners that are off-and-on I happened to be seventeen. Within my twenties and very early thirties, throughout the very long periods as he and I also weren’t a few, We had explored a number of relationships with some perfectly offbeat males: a massage that is brazilian who was simply spending for their master’s in somatic therapy by programming computer systems for a 900-line in nevada. A zen that is french student baked a tarte aux pommes for my birthday celebration and offered me bouquets of homegrown chard. A yogi who invited me to a“love that is clothing-optional closeness” workshop at their Santa Cruz house that culminated in a talent show where a seventy-three-year-old girl belly-danced putting on absolutely absolutely absolutely nothing however a denim apron.

None regarding the connections, nonetheless, included something that you may phone dating. We met while adjusting one another in Downward Dog, or squabbling over unwashed meals into the home of a collective home. We migrated effortlessly forward and backward throughout the boundary between relationship and love. I’m friends that are still good virtually everybody I’ve paired up with in past times 20 years.

After my wedding took place in flames, relationship was the thing that is last my brain.

(Maybe this had one thing related to the truth that I became nevertheless wearing nursing bras.) And also at this point, I’ve been around long adequate to realize that an intimate partner just isn’t a assured solution to a life that is dukkha-free. Love, it appears for me, is a mix of serendipity and work that is hard. Wouldn’t we be much better off utilizing my energy and time rooting out of the reason for suffering—craving—at its supply? Rather than dating, shouldn’t We volunteer at a soup home? Shouldn’t I give attention to considering emptiness and interdependence to the stage where I’d have just like joy that is much an evening alone sorting socks because from per night making passionate love in the front of the fire to Indian sitar music?

Oh, whom have always been we joking? “Sure,” I tell my editor. “I’ll check it out.”

1 I get paralyzed in huge, bargain-basement stores week. Offered fifteen aisles of footwear to pick from, I’m very likely to give up the project that is whole go homeward barefoot. Thus I pass from the modern age megasites like eHarmony and simply subscribe to the 2 that sound clearly Buddhist: and

Despite its title, dharmaMatch happens to be a fairly basic website, targeted at singles of most spiritual persuasions “who hold their thinking, values, and spirituality as an important part of the life.” Its website features a lovely couple that is young within an embrace, enclosed by giant soap bubbles—as if to remind us associated with the impermanent nature of intimate love, as we pursue it.

DharmaDate is more narrowly targeted toward Buddhists: “We want it to be a sangha that is informal destination where you could be your self. Or be your non-self.” The {sign-up process includes|process tha series of in-depth questions regarding training and values which can be clearly made to monitor down non-Buddhists (whom, presumably, would otherwise be flocking here in droves, drawn because of the famous licentiousness and natural animal magnetism of dharma practitioners). The thing that is first need to do, on both websites, is select a screen name. I take to for Yogini, nonetheless it was already taken. Dakini? Exact same deal. I eliminate Bikini as unwise, and settle instead on Tahini, that also is the true title of my pet.

Although pictures are not essential, they’re strongly motivated, given that bait in the hook into the sea that is online.

And so I scramble through my files, searching for a current image that doesn’t lop off my head to spotlight my five-year-old son. Sign-up questionnaires ask me personally to assess every part of myself: appearance, life style, character, nutritional preferences. And, needless to say, spirituality—to a level we imagine maybe not ordinarily addressed by the average dating site (“What takes place following the human body dies?” is a question I’ve never ever seen before in a multiple-choice structure).

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