I have been thinking about renunciation and being of fewer needs and what that means to me personally. What came up was the fact that in the last few years a lot of my own neediness, or greediness, often involves things of a more ‘spiritual’ nature – buying cds of tibetan chants, meditations, ordering spiritual and religious books, buying good headphones so I can listen to meditations, surfing the Internet for videos and documentaries, etc. A sort of ‘spiritual materialism’.
On the one hand this feels commendable as it is well-intentioned, but at the same time I wonder if it isn’t just the same materialism taking on another form, and more subtle because I don’t end up with a bag of rubbish at the end of the week, but still there is the unsatisfactoriness of hopping from ‘product’ to ‘product’.
Thinking further, I wondered why I might have slipped into this spiritual materialism. And I think it might be a substitute for feeling a real connection; both within the community and within myself. And it takes more effort to develop and stick to meditation practice than it does to order a meditation cd.
So is being of many needs really rooted in feeling a lack of connection and wanting to fill the void quickly and easily?
And so is the solution to develop that connection, and the challenge to find a way to do that? I know that when I really feel connected and in the fulness of the moment, the difference between having and not having ‘outside things’ becomes rather irrelevant, and I can give freely and joyfully.
Sorry if this is a rambling message, I was trying to follow the train of reflections that came up while I was contemplating this week’s topic. On a personal level I am very grateful for this opportunity to feel part of a such a compassionate community.