Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Yard Sale Lesson

“You don't need a new backpack." Maharha reminded me, "Gaura Narayan is moving out next year. You're not going to be camping anymore.” 
I had picked up the backpack at a yard sale a few blocks from Nilamani's home in New Jersey. (We spent last weekend at a wedding in NYC)
“OK, I'll take it back.”
On the walk back I thought about what she'd said.
Years ago we had 2 boys at home and a shortage of backpacks. The request stayed in my head and when the opportunity arose I acted on it, even though there was no longer a need for a backpack.
“How many outdated, irrelevant desires am I still carrying?” I wondered.
The empty pack weighed nothing on my shoulders.
I remember carrying 40 or 50 pound packs on week long expeditions.
It was always a relief to take off such a heavy pack.
Walking would feel like floating.
“Why burden myself any longer with unnecessary desires?”, I thought.
“This is the beginning of a new me. I release everything.”
Yeah right. If only it was that easy.
At home we have a cedar chest. Although we've washed it, aired it for weeks, it smells like mothballs. Anything we put in there smells like mothballs. Because of that, we don't keep anything in there.
Desires can be like that. No matter how hard we try to shake them, the smell remains and pollutes everything we do.
What to do with desires that serve no useful purpose?
Religions, philosophies, psychologists, counselors, deep thinkers, parents, teachers and law enforcement agencies deal with this single question.
What to do with desires that serve no useful purpose?
The answer is simple, but the application is individual and unique in all cases. Like stopping a train, momentum pushes us forward long after we apply the brakes. We may do everything correctly, but it takes time to see results. Don't give up. 
Bad habits (desires) are broken by forming good habits. 

No comments:

Post a Comment