The trouble with margaritas, of course--at least to me--is that they taste too much like a less sweetly offensive sort of lemonade. So on a warm evening you tend to gulp them down like lemonade, with alarmingly unlemonade like consequences. The worst thing that results from an overidulgence in lemonade is the kind of frequent trips to the bathroom that those ubiquitous TV commercials warn us men about. Margaritas can lead at best to a pleasant--though definitely UnBuddhist--buzz; at worst to a nasty hangover the following morning.
Well, I'm mentioning this because I had a couple of them last night at sunset, at the celebration of the 60th birthday of a good friend at her Laguna Beach home, overlooking the elegant palm trees and the spectacular ocean view from above the trendy Montage Hotel. Not a bad place to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and enjoy a couple of Margaritas, you'll agree. Not a bad place to enjoy the company of a diverse group of people and exotic fare fresh from the barbeque.
Ah, but I did pay the price this morning, waking with a brain dulled by tequilla and a body somewhat heavier for the intake of too many spicy shrimp hors d'oeuvres and slices of grilled brisket. I can, however, recommend what turned out for me to be a useful remedy: a forty-five minute sit in the crisp, fresh air of the early morning, as the sun begins to rise. Birds sing, hummers hum, the distant ocean waves crash on the shore... Pretty soon, with careful attention to the breath, the creaks and groans begin to drain out as the body wakes. Pretty soon, the effect of those margaritas starts to dissipate. Pretty soon, the mind remembers the pleasures of focus and concentration.
I know, I know, a real Buddhist wouldn't have woken with a hangover in the first place. But given the undoubted error of indulgence, it's good to know that the practice offers a fine way to atone.