My eight year old was very keen on some new shoes. After much traipsing we decided on a pair of running shoes with some flashy side strips. Perfect, he was so happy he announced on the way out ‘I have been really spoilt, I’m not going to want anything at least for a week’. Half congratulating myself on my great parenting we left with some sweets as well.
Don’t praise yourself too early though. I had forgotten about the one of Buddha’s principle teachings, The origin of suffering is attachment. Three days on the expensive shoes were in an angry pile with a’ not wearing those declaration’. Apparently they weren’t the right ones for school. It seems the little buddha had already grown tired of them. He wanted an upgrade.
We all desire things. We live in a consumer market that is fueled by making people want more. We can create more jobs and wealth this way but we can also create downfall. Think back to the time you really wanted something, say a watch. You think about it , dream about it and imagine yourself showing your friends. You get the watch it is so shiny and perfect. Then two days later it gets a scratch and suddenly it just seems old and you no longer think it’s the best thing. Maybe you regret your purchase or your attention turns to the latest gadget. In short you have become tired of it. The object of your desire no longer makes you happy. The object of your desire has lost its status.
This happens with everything including relationships. The person you married suddenly seems to be faulty or scratched like the watch. You dream about trading up but you can’t. Maybe you start to eye up younger less scratched models because in your head something new will be better. The problem with this is we get tired of everything sooner or later. We do this with our job. We can do this with our yoga practice, our house, our meditation. Everything.
Practice for Today: Buddha taught that our suffering was due to craving that which is impermanent. Everything changes, everything moves on. Today if you feel new is better can you just sit with the old, being satisfied with what you have now?
Footnote. I have made the little buddha wear his shoes, not too sure what the real Buddha would have said about that.