I paraphrase the Dalai Lama a bit here, but the gist of it is that most of the world focuses on having what you want— which is a constant state of acquisition, of needing to augment with more, of rampant consumerism that ultimately ends in devaluation of anything that is not imminently disposable.
If you find satisfaction in what you are, where you are, who you are right now, that is peace of mind that is not illusive, transitory or subject to entropy. Wanting what you have is the ultimate expression of living in the moment. The goal is to be here now, not to dwell on how much better your life could be if only …
There is so much stuff out there in the world:
an endless flow of new things to acquire
can occupy one’s thoughts until they swirl
in a mad jumble, or build a great spire
out of sight in the distant heights of space.
Yet, we imagine from all this rubble
that one can pick through, at a rapid pace,
finding our heart’s desires with no trouble.
Surrounded by bright flashing lights selling
the latest fads and mass-produced trinkets,
insisting they know our innermost wish,
it is often so hard, simply telling
what is out there that is what we think it
appears to be, let alone is our bliss.
If each small possession, each acquaintance
gathered in the space of a lifetime’s span –
those little things often held by only chance,
not according to some master game plan,
having a sacred meaning to oneself
alone – were to be ranked and then compared
to those treasures out of reach on a shelf
(that just gather dust and cannot be shared,
like ephemeral wisps of hoarding dreams
that pale and fade, offering nothing real),
each tiny blessing would be worth much more
than the unnecessary wants that seem
so pressing. Their value is that they feel
wholly alive, and are worth living for.
03 FEB 2003