I admit that I’m a geek.
So what? I like Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and computers. I guess it’s a result of being born in the mid 1970s and being bombarded with Star Wars toys, video games, and cheesy movies from the 80s. I made my parents get me an Empire Strikes Back lunch box in the second grade after getting made fun of at school for having a BeeGees one. I think that being a geek has definitely opened doors for me into the practice of mindfulness that I might not have otherwise had if I had not been introduced to certain things in childhood.
The Star Wars Trilogy, and especially the idea of the Force, had a profound impact on me as a child. I remember being dragged to religious services kicking and screaming, then sitting there bored to tears as I was forced to listen to someone speak about the divine as if they were talking about football stats. Sure, they were sort of excited, but the stuff coming out of their mouths held no weight. They simply had no authority on the subject and clearly were just conducting services out of wrote memorization. I wasn’t swayed, and longed for something deeper, like the Force.
Years later, I came upon a book called The Dharma of Star Wars.This book, while a bit hokey, lit a fire inside me once again. I could relate to something totally foreign to me in a language that was in my DNA since I saw Star Wars when I was 3 years old. The Buddhist teachings are spelled out in a way that really hit home in that book, and really sent me on a quest to absorb all of the information I could on the subject. I felt that I could finally understand what Yoda was teaching Luke. Especially when he said, “All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon…Never his mind on where he was, mmmm?….what he was doing…” That’s mindfulness right there!
Being a geek has in fact led me to many other things, including landing me in a job where I met other seekers, who introduced me to even deeper teachings. All of that would not have been possible if I weren’t a geek. I have no shame, no remorse, and no fear of being labeled…a geek.