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Lauralee
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I find the notion both intriguing and horrifying. According to Business Week Online, almost 5 percent of the U. Arranging dates through Buddhist sites promises something novel: a wide assortment of potential friends, all of them single and interested in connection, and all sharing a primary interest in spiritual practice.

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And as a mating strategy, it probably beats cruising a Vipassana retreat. A French Zen student who baked a tarte aux pommes for buddhist dating app birthday and offered me bouquets of homegrown chard. None of the connections, however, involved anything that you might call dating. We met while adjusting each other in Downward Dog, or squabbling over unwashed dishes in the kitchen of a collective house. We migrated easily back and forth across the boundary between friendship and romance.

After my marriage went down in flames, romance was initially the last thing on my mind. Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that I was still wearing nursing bras. Love, it seems to me, is a combination of serendipity and hard work.

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Week 1 I get paralyzed in huge, bargain-basement stores. Or be your non-self. The first thing I must do, on both sites, is choose a screen name. I try for Yogini, but it has already been taken.

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Same deal. I rule out Bikini as unwise, and settle instead on Tahini, which also happens to be the name of my cat.

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-up questionnaires ask me to evaluate every aspect of myself: physical appearance, lifestyle, personality, dietary preferences. The analogies to the dating process are unavoidable: clearly, before holding any open houses I should consider some major renovations—and perhaps a professional stager—to increase my curb appeal.

But within hours of posting my profile, an arrives in my inbox. Is the not-yet-enlightened prince who will eventually become buddhist dating app Buddha really the sort of guy I want to be flirting with this time around? True, he was handsome, well educated, and rich. Sure, there are some scary ones: The guy who rants that he likes trees better than people.

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The guy who suggests in his opening that we live together on a ranch in Wyoming, where we will castrate our own goats. But for the most part, the Smiles are linked to intriguing profiles: An Argentinean jazz musician in New York City who studies Tibetan Buddhism and hatha yoga and has a nine-year-old son. A burly poet in Ohio who shares custody of an eleven-year-old daughter.

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A Zen priest in southern California whose online photo features his shaved head and black robes. Wait a minute.

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I picture him chanting in the zendo: Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to end them—right after I check dharmaMatch for any new hotties. Of course, our practice helps us dissolve the illusion of a separate self and know that we are supported in every breath by the whole universe. Forty percent of the U.

And an increasing percentage of those singles are forty years and older. Many of the profiles I read, like mine, buddhist dating app ghosts hovering in the margins: ex-lovers, ex-spouses, shared children. Sifting through them, I envision us all bobbing around in the ocean after a great cultural shipwreck.

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We tighten our life preservers, clutch our bits of driftwood, and wave at one another across the water. The jazz musician sends flirtatious messages at midnight, ing his name with a sprinkling of kiss emoticons.

The poet sends poems he has written and photos of his cabin and sailboat on a silver lake.

Dating yourself

The dharma-dating s drown in the flood of messages from my real-world life: article submissions, work appointments, family sagas, baby announcements, friends inviting me to potluck suppers. Untethered to the world of blood and bones, the candidates for my affection drift out of my mind like balloons on a windy day.

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I repeatedly forget my dating-site password. This, of course, has its own pitfalls. Well, if it is I might just as well go to the local bar and become an alcoholic, smoke cigarettes, and associate with big furry women who grunt when they talk. And what do you think might be the karmic consequences of being responsible for my demise?

I decide to perform some geographical triage.

Buddhist dating

Those who live nearby I will buddhist dating app as quickly as possible toward face-to-face meetings. Weeks I consult Online Dating for Dummies, which recommends that the first meetings be brief, for coffee or tea, and that they be held in a busy public place. I wonder how many of the couples I see at the tables around me are meeting for the first time, exchanging chitchat while surreptitiously checking each other out to see if they can imagine spending the rest of their lives together.

My date, whose screen name refers to a legendary Scottish warrior, is a small, serious man with a British accent and a longtime Vipassana practice. We look at each other awkwardly, clutching our mugs of herbal tea. I decide to do more prescreening next time. I browse through the paperbacks, discreetly eyeing each arriving customer. Across the aisle, a stocky, dark-haired man is buddhist dating app the same thing. It takes a good ten minutes before we approach each other and discover that we are.

This guy is every bit as thoughtful and pleasant as our conversation had led me to believe. But the man I had imagined was taller, with a commanding physical presence due to his twenty years of intensive Iyengar yoga. I find myself glancing toward the door, still waiting for him to show up.

I imagine that my date is probably waiting for a different version of me, as well—perhaps one in retouched black-and-white, like my publicity photo.

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Stirring my tea, I realize that this is one of the many strange things about online dating. Normally, when you meet someone, you encounter him or her first in the flesh, so whatever story you begin to spin in your mind centers around a character who vaguely resembles who that person actually is.

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Although in that case, at least, Rhett is played by Clark Gable. Distracted by the details of packing, I take a break from the dating asment.

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In the move my Internet connection goes down for a couple of weeks; I get back online to find a backlog of dharma-date s in my inbox, along with a pile of tasks that need attending to. But I keep glancing at the profiles with idle curiosity, the way I sometimes stop in at garage sales. The same might be said for dharma dating.

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Free of the counterbalancing weight of actual human contact, I eliminate suitors for random, inificant reasons: Too short. Too tall. Too old.

Fifteen weeks of dharma dating

Too young. Too little hair. Too much hair. Claiming to be enlightened.

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Weeks With a nudge from my editor, I decide to plunge back into the dating buddhist dating app again. I meet up for dinner with a former buddhist dating app of the tantric guru Osho who now runs a car-rental business. I have tea with a music producer and Vipassana student from L. A psychologist and mountain climber offers me a tour of his co-housing community. What is the spark—chemistry?

The very activity of dating feels fluffy and insubstantial compared with the weight and texture of my daily life, filled as it is with the countless domestic details of child-rearing, work, and friendships. But of course, these appendages are what make my life worth living.

I tell myself that I should probably persist past a first date. I resist the idea of carving out time for relative strangers. Driving home from my co-housing tour, I reflect that this whole experience can perhaps be viewed as a kind of meditation practice.

Perhaps dating is just a way to practice keeping the door of my heart open to intimacy—without attachment to. In the process, I can notice the habits of contraction that keep me feeling separate from other people: judgments, expectations, buddhist dating app, busyness, guilt, chronic feelings of insecurity or superiority. Or is this theory just an attempt to spiritualize an essentially absurd activity, one riddled with consumerism and steeped in the double delusion that love is out there somewhere—and that with persistence and a fast Internet connection we can track it down?

Week I go out to dinner with a computer programmer who used to be a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal.