Friday, May 23, 2014

Cool T-shirt makes me want more!

I got this fan art t-shirt that has Totoro dressed as the Buddha and holding an umbrella - it's very kawaii and as I was wearing it yesterday I had the sudden urge to buy another one, even though I just got this one and I would pay almost twice the original price.  But I stopped myself and thought, "why would I want to buy another of the same kind of t-shirt?"  It didn't make sense until I thought about how easily we fall into grasping, wanting, needing when we don't expect it.  So, I've been thinking a lot about desire and how that spirals into neediness and greed.  So what do you do?  We live in a world where we're constantly bombarded by illusory images of money and power and the things it acquires, and it's hard to turn those messages off, no matter how destructive we know them to be ultimately.  Solution?  Not sure, but it has something to do with NOT trying to turn off the messages that we're forced to cognate - cognition is thought, so being with this thought of "want-to-have" is like giving it all the energy it needs to hamper your life and possibly deplete your wallet.  But what if we acknowledge it as a thought, and then move on?  This is what we're taught in Zen Buddhism when meditating - any thoughts go in an out and we just observe them and keep going without attaching to this or that notion.  This is a great technique for when you're not meditating, as well, so when I was able to back up from the thought of "want-to-have" I saw that it was just thinking and was able to let it go.