Is this greed? Does it cause harm?

I have really enjoyed the first writing in “Hooked”.  It was a piece written by Joseph Goldstein.  This first part of the book is about getting hooked and its relationship to desire and attachment.  Joseph started out with a story from the Dalai Llama who indicated that once while teaching in LA, he was driven down a high tech street every day to and from his hotel. By the end of the week the Dalai Llama found himself wanting gadgets even though he didn’t know what they were.  Joseph told this story to show how powerful desire is in the mind.  It’s hardwired!

He discussed some of the things that cause us to get caught in desire besides the acquisition of things.  We can get caught in desire to eat a certain way, our own hopes and fears,  pleasant experiences,  our opinions and views, our spiritual practice and a separate self.

He also offered some antidotes:

  1. renunciation which he prefers to think of as non-addiction;
  2. silence which helps people investigate the motivation behind their actions; and
  3. generosity which is a corrector to addiction.

He suggested we ask ourselves two questions when buying something – Does this represent greed?  And it may be completely ordinary in American households,  but do I need this?  His point is that we need to consume to survive but by what guidelines do we choose and how much?  Do we consider what harm we are doing?

Contemplate these questions in your own life.   Remember there is no right way/wrong way; good yogi/bad yogi and we need to respect everyone’s choice to live as they see fit.  How much do you live within your heart’s values and how much do you live within your cultural norms?

I’ll see you Thursday…


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