🌕 Angela’s Reflections:
Fundamentally, we chase rewards and pleasures because we think they will give us the happiness, love, peace, stability and security we are looking for. Have the stuff you were chasing brought you the happiness you thought they would? Or have you been imprisoned, enslaved and trapped by your possessions and your chase of needing to acquire more and more?
In the process of chase, there is cruelty, violence, unkindness and destruction. Look at the state of our world today, the result of greed, anger and delusion at a collective level.
On the surface, it looks like craving is the problem. But the real problem is ignorance to the way things really are. From ignorance, there arises three types of craving: craving for existence (bhava-taṇhā), craving for non-existence (vibhava-taṇhā) and craving for sensual pleasure (kama-taṇhā).
How can we change the habit pattern of craving and ignorance? Start with awareness and mindfulness. Pause and stop whenever you realize craving is arising. Stop, and know. Viktor E. Frankl: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
🌱 Journal Reflection Prompts for You:
- 📝 What would your mind be like, if you were not swirled up in the non-stop chase and acquisition of stuff, things, accolades, experiences, external validation and people?
- 📝 In which areas of your life might you practice accepting and letting go, instead of acquiring and wanting more?
- 📝 Identify a current situation or challenge in your life where pausing, looking deeply and knowing deeply would be more useful than your habitual tendencies and knee-jerk reactions to solve the problem. Allow new insights to emerge.
Featured image, an AI-generated artwork, by Angela Ho.