went out last night and accidentally got hammered basically because we went out to dinner and THEN a second location. Second location always screws me up because I responsibly drank at the first location within my limits so as not to get drunk. Then, a second location is just always a bar, where there is nothing to do but drink, anyway. So, combine this with the poor judgement that comes along with the previous drinking at the first location, and 1 more turns into 2 and suddenly you are past your limit. I felt guilty when I woke up, like I broke a promise to Tara. I really do feel more guilty toward the Buddhas and my human teachers than feeling like I let myself down. I know that the Buddhas will never give up on you and none of the lamas I've received teachings from would, either, but for some reason when I feel guilty it feels like they are all drawing away from me. I guess in reality that is a projection of my mind based on the fact that my actions are drawing me away from them. But, it's funny how guilt is always a projection based on concepts.
I remember one of the first things I learned from a fellow dzogchen student was when I was new to dzogchen and asked about drinking alcohol, because I was a bigtime drinker at the time and it was one of the reasons I had not taken refuge anywhere. I guess I always took it seriously enough that I didn't want to make a commitment and then break it, so I meditated and studied Buddhism for years and then would go out and get drunk regularly. So, when I discovered dzogchen, I actually thought, "hey, this is great! This might be for me because I get still get wasted!" Haha, yes I realized soon enough that this was incorrect! But, when I asked this fellow dzogchen student if we weren't supposed to drink, he said "there is nothing you can or can't do, I mean obviously you shouldn't go out and get wasted, but..." and I said something like "but if I do is it bad?" and I remember he kind of interrupted me and he said something like, "there is not really anything like guilt in dzogchen."
I have since realized that of course getting drunk is counterproductive and generates bad karma, so I feel guilty in a very abstract way when I feel like I got drunk. A slight buzz comes from even 1 drink of alcohol, but I don't feel guilty about drinking unless my mind becomes stupid and my judgement is impaired. It is hard to really come down on myself if I didn't set out with the intention to get bombed because it's really just the difference of 1 or 2 drinks sometimes. Last night, for example, at the first location, my last drink was a brand of whiskey because me and one of the other guys are whiskey fans, so he said to try this one whiskey and I did. That was plenty and I was still good to go. If I went home and went to sleep, I probably would have been drunk in my sleep after the whiskey fully processed, which really isn't any worse than just being asleep, imo. No dream yoga, of course... but, we went to that second location and I got a beer which, while not strong, still added more fuel to the fire.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron