Sunday, October 05, 2008

Distraction

I think the essence of samsara, the vicious cycle of suffering that
Buddhists try to liberate themselves from, is our habitual searching
for distractions. The root of this is really feeling that we do not
have enough, that we need something else. Our economy has been very
much built to support and reinforce this tendency. But eventually this
is also the cause of a lot of harm on ourselves, others, and on the
environment. That is why href="http://www.mangalashribhuti.org">Dzigar Kongtrul's teaching
this summer about practicing little needs and much contentment was so
poignant. I very much believe this is what we need, now more than
ever. But how often do I not find myself working, and then this
feeling arises of "oh, I really need to check this website", or "I
need to really eat or drink something." This is exactly that: the
feeling that we need something more, all the time. And not only do
these feelings make one unhappy, but they also very much impede
getting work done.

What helps me a lot to regain my focus is first, to make a list every
day of what I want to accomplish and what my priorities are, and
second, to contemplate how all these things that I feel I need are
really impermanent and changing. Actually, when I do go after these
feelings they will not satify me, or only for a short time. Because
the only productive satisfaction is when I am simply content with what
is. And that is again the practice of little needs and much
contentment. How beautiful, yet how difficult!
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