Dec 28, 2021 • 2M

[0017]Coveting less

May you let go of the desire to own and possess

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Asaktih (आसक्ति) is the absence of the desire to own things. According to the ancient traditions, ownership is a fallacy. You cannot own anything because all things by their very nature are transitory. Your house, all kinds of property, your knowledge and faculties, and even your own body are not immutable. Life gives you a chance to possess these things for a while, to enjoy their presence, facility, and security. But when social status itself is a commodity that can be purchased by acquiring things of value or exclusivity, you must constantly acquire new objects of desire to stay ahead of the competition. Buddhism tells us that suffering arises when we try to tenaciously hold on to things. While you can plainly see that all material things, including your physical body, are subject to the ravages of time and circumstance, it is not so obvious that this frailty extends to your thoughts and what you consider to be the very essence of your true self. The image that you have of yourself is only a rough precis of your past experiences and inculcated beliefs. Your personal identity was always meant to be a subtle tempering of your true nature with time and circumstance. More suffering ensues when you try to hold on to a fixed notion of your self; try to always “keep your composure” and never act “out of character”. Instead, experiment with new ways of being and allow yourself to be surprised and even elated occasionally. Freedom is won when you set things free, starting with yourself.

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