Fifteen Weeks of Dharma Dating. Anne Cushman goes undercover within the Buddhist branch associated with the on the web dating world

Fifteen Weeks of Dharma Dating. Anne Cushman goes undercover within the Buddhist branch associated with the on the web dating world

The concept first arises as a tale between me 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?

We get the idea both intriguing and horrifying. For years I’ve mocked the notion of searching for a mate just how you’d search for a guide on Amazon.com (“Add This Man to My Cart!”). As soon as, while searching for an utilized settee on Craigslist, we popped up to the Men Seeking Women area for the appearance, together with adverts all ran together during my head: 6-foot divorced sofa, 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. . . .

But recently, many of my buddies have actually 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. Relating to company Week on the web, nearly 5 percent associated with the U.S. populace is currently noted on Match com. Organizing times through Buddhist web internet web sites promises something unique: a broad assortment of potential friends, all of them solitary and enthusiastic about connection, and all sorts of sharing an interest that is primary religious training. So that as a mating strategy, it probably beats cruising a Vipassana retreat.

The problem that is only, I’ve never truly dated.

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

None for the connections, nonetheless, included something that you may phone dating. We came across while adjusting each other in Downward Dog, or squabbling over unwashed meals into the home of a house that is collective. We migrated effortlessly backwards and forwards over the boundary between relationship and relationship. I’m friends that are still good virtually everybody I’ve paired up with in past times 20 years.

After my wedding transpired in flames, love was the final thing on my brain.

(Maybe this had one thing regarding the truth that I became nevertheless wearing medical bras.) And also at this point, I’ve been around long adequate to realize that an intimate partner just isn’t an assured admission to a dukkha-free life. Love, this indicates in my experience, is a mixture of serendipity and work that is hard. Wouldn’t we be better off utilizing my time and energy rooting out of the reason behind suffering—craving—at its supply? As opposed to dating, shouldn’t We volunteer at a soup home? Shouldn’t I give attention to considering emptiness and interdependence to the level 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 I joking? “Sure,” we tell my editor. “I’ll check it out.”

Week 1 I have paralyzed in huge, bargain-basement stores. Offered fifteen aisles of footwear to select from, I’m very likely to give up the entire task and go homeward barefoot. Thus I pass in the New Age megasites like eHarmony and simply subscribe to the 2 that noise clearly Buddhist: dharmaMatch.com and DharmaDate.com.

Despite its title, dharmaMatch happens to be a fairly basic website, directed at singles of all of the spiritual persuasions “who hold their values, values, and spirituality as a significant part of the life.” Its website features a pleasant young few locked in a embrace, enclosed by giant soap bubbles—as if to remind us associated with impermanent nature of intimate love, as we pursue it.

DharmaDate is more narrowly targeted toward Buddhists: “We want to buy to be an informal sangha conference spot where you are able to be your self. Or be your non-self.” The {sign-up procedure includes|process tha series of in-depth questions regarding training and opinions which are clearly made to display away non-Buddhists (whom, presumably, would otherwise be flocking here in droves, drawn by the famous licentiousness and natural animal magnetism of dharma practitioners). The thing that is first should do, on both web sites, is opt for a screen title. we take to for Yogini, however it was already taken. Dakini? Exact same deal. We exclude Bikini as unwise, and settle instead on Tahini, that also is actually the title of my pet.

Although photos are not essential, they’re strongly encouraged, once the bait regarding the hook when you look at the sea that is online.

Thus I scramble through my files, looking for a current photo that doesn’t lop my head off to spotlight my five-year-old son. Sign-up questionnaires ask us to assess every part of myself: physical appearance, life style, character, nutritional preferences. And, needless to say, spirituality—to a level we imagine maybe not usually addressed because of the average dating internet 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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