Driving to my art gallery, I was just thinking:
All our sufferings are the result of our attachments to things and to all our emotional wanting. As I parked the car in front of my art gallery, as I turned the key, I was thinking of this very sentence over and over again. When I walked into the gallery, I told myself, But look at me… myself. I am a good example of it. I am so attached to this chair; to this cup; to this pen; to this laptop; to this, to that; and to everything around me.
So I should say, “You, all the things around me… You are responsible for all my sufferings.”
As I walked the five stairs leading to the second level of the gallery, I thought to myself, But how can I ever be without any attachments? It would be like being naked and cold… Things, after all, keep us covered, warm, and protected, and they connect us to the current of life. Through these things, we connect ourselves to life’s electricity, like a microwave or a toaster.
Material things superficially tell us, Yes, have no fear. They tell us that we are solid and grounded, forever and immortal. But can we be happy without material things? Well, yes, of course. Let me give you a very good example. Many years ago, when my young family and I lived in Africa, we did not have any of this. We had a very simple life: no radio, hardly anything was on the local T.V., no place to go for a shopping spree. There was only one ice cream store in town. The only flavor they carried was vanilla, yet we stood in line to buy that one flavor of ice cream, and it tasted soo good.
The thing is, I don’t think I even like to have too many choices. It just confuses me and dulls my appetite. Maybe we were not supposed to have so many choices. Maybe choices are responsible for greed, and greed creates attachments, and attachments are the source of our suffering. Maybe we are too full. Maybe we should practice to be a little bit more empty so that we can create space to accommodate love and goodness and peace of mind. Maybe I”m just too cluttered and too crowded.
As I sum up my thoughts, I turn the music on, turn on the computer, go directly to “Mail,” and watch the endless avalanche of e-mails rush into my inbox.