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oh goodness! I am sorry you had such an awful crash, but glad you are still here with us! Wishing you the best care while you recover. I will include you in my metta practices.
It is interesting to consider what a sober mind really is. Obviously, there is drunk/under the influence of alcohol and not. But what if you expand it? I actually have a much harder time with meditation after a cup of coffee than a glass of wine. Am I not-sober when I have wine, but sober on coffee because of how our society treats the 2 differently? I don't think so. It's considered completely acceptable to make comments about how we cannot function without coffee. But if someone were to say the same thing about alcohol, our judgments change. But actual addiction aside, is it really that different?
It seems to me we can become "not sober" on just about anything, including:
Everything is always about balance, and different things throw different people out of balance in different ways. The effects of a glass of wine and a video game on me are vastly different than someone else. While that same person might accept sugar or caffeine with no negative effects while I cannot.
@Kerome It is free, yes. There are some "assignments" you do, submitting a couple of writing bits to the community to "grade". It's a good course. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
The Buddhism and Modern Psych course is super interesting. The interaction with the people taking it is, as usual, the most valuable part (IMO). I've done the course twice, and actually moderated it as well a couple of rounds. Fascinating discussions there, for sure.
Make sure as you note that seeds are planted, in yourself or others, that you help cultivate them as well. Just like a garden, you might prepare it well, but you don't stop at throwing some seeds in the prepared soil. You must baby the seed as it becomes a seedling, a sprout, and eventually a full plant. Watering, fertilizing and especially weeding and pest control. You cover it with warmth when the outside world gets too cold. You might have had the perfect garden and ripe seed, but if you let pests, weeds and frost attack it, the sprout will still be strangled.
I think the drive to have sex is a pretty big one which is linked to the biological drive to procreate even if we don't consciously think of it that way. We can make the choice, but understanding and education help a lot here, and in the US we largely fail miserably at that. I didn't know what on earth was going on with my body when I was 15 and had my first boyfriend, I just knew it felt good so I went with it. I knew sex could get me pregnant, and I wasn't going to ask my mom for birth control so I relied on him to manage the birth control end. Thankfully, got lucky, as I was sexually active for 3 years before I was on birth control (not until I left home and didn't have to tell my parents).
We regularly hear from our male members (not exclusively but mostly) how difficult it is to break out of that because it is such a strong drive. Watching my 15 year old go through puberty, his hormones have much more control over him than he feels he has over them. A topic we discuss and work on, but that instinctual drive is definitely there. I think that is part of the reason that some people seem to breed like rabbits, because they are having sex based on instinctual desire on the male half (again, generally speaking) and emotional connection desire on the female half without much thought at all consciously going into actually creating a life. Much due to lack of education and falling back to religion.
In the US, 45% of pregnancies are not planned. Yes, most should know they have birth control options, but as is often the case here, there is a lack of education (especially in red states) and a lack of availabililty (again, especially in red states). Trump just rolled back Obama's birth control gains the other day, I believe.
My state is one of the best in the nation, and it is largely because education is decent, birth control options are widely available and without teens having to consult their parents.