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The idea first comes up as a joke between me and my Tricycle editor: As a newly single Buddhist mom, why don’t I post my profile on a couple of the new online “dharma dating” sites, and write about my experiences? For years I’ve mocked the idea of shopping for a mate the way you’d shop for a book on (“Add This Man to My Cart! Once, while browsing for a used couch on Craigslist, I popped over to the Men Seeking Women section for a look, and the ads all ran together in my mind: 6-foot divorced sofa, 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. In my twenties and early thirties, during the long periods when he and I weren’t a couple, I had explored a series of relationships with some wonderfully offbeat men: A Brazilian massage therapist who was paying for his master’s in somatic psychology by programming computers for a 900-line in Las Vegas.
Dharma Date is more narrowly targeted toward Buddhists: “We want it to be an informal sangha meeting place where you can be yourself. I rule out Bikini as unwise, and settle instead on Tahini, which also happens to be the name of my cat. A Zen priest in southern California whose online photo features his shaved head and black robes. I begin exchanging emails with the people who have contacted me (sending them through the sites’ somewhat cumbersome online mailboxes, which guarantee continued anonymity until you’re ready to share your identity and contact info).
Or be your non-self.” The sign-up process includes a series of in-depth questions about practice and beliefs that are explicitly designed to screen out non-Buddhists (who, presumably, would otherwise be flocking there in droves, drawn by the legendary licentiousness and raw animal magnetism of dharma practitioners). Although photos are not required, they’re strongly encouraged, as the bait on the hook in the online sea. Week 2-3 As the introductory Smiles continue to arrive—“ . The jazz musician sends flirtatious messages at midnight, signing his name with a sprinkling of kiss emoticons.
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.) And at this point, I’ve been around long enough to know that a romantic partner is not a guaranteed ticket to a dukkha-free life.
A French Zen student who baked a tarte aux pommes for my birthday and offered me bouquets of homegrown chard.
A yogi who invited me to a clothing-optional “love and intimacy” workshop at his Santa Cruz home that culminated in a talent show where a seventy-three-year-old woman belly-danced wearing nothing but a denim apron.
Instead, we’ll send you a carefully selected batch of spiritually-inclined singles every day, specially tailored to you; saving you time and allowing you to look past the superficial and find people that you’ll be keen to connect with on a deeper level.