Tuesday, February 18, 2020

On Ownership

"You don't own anything. You enjoy these fleeting moments that we have together."

This quote by Ajahn Brahm really got me to thinking, thinking about money and all of the planning my mind finds itself doing. I want to do this. I should do that. I need to do this by the time I'm 65. I'll be more secure if I have X amount of money by the time I'm 50. Me, me, me. Mine, mine, mine. The voice in my mind can sound like that kid who used to live down the street hoarding his immense collection of video games. Haven't I learned anything since then?

Meditation, for me, can be like taking a step back from a masterpiece painting that I'm staring at, only I'm so close to the thing that my nose is touching it. But when I take a step back, the shapes of its strokes stand out, the vibrancy of its colors jump off the canvas, the purpose of the artist reveals itself.

Getting fixated on possessions, those monetarily-based and not, brings me closer into that painting, yet, ironically, causes me not to be able to see it, and what I can see is blurry and insignificant. So, I pledge a new perspective, a fresh look on life. I vow to let go my grasp, to allow things to float around the world naturally like whispy bits of cotton on the wind.

This train of thought started with the video below and, coincidentally, continued with the latest book I picked up. It's called The Abundance of Less by Andy Couturier. I have only read the introduction, but he paints a picture of rural Japan (where I happen to live) that is free from the industrialized greed of its urban cousin. I live in a semi-rural part of Japan and have always been fascinated with the notion of dropping everything and living a way of life that's sustainable and simple. To quit my career and create enough free time to write, meditate, and run to the fullest extent may not be a step I'm willing to take just yet, but perhaps one day I will have the courage to do so. I will try to update more on the book as I continue to read.

As I think more deeply on it, I have come to the premature conclusion (so, of course, this may need revision) that giving up future earning for more time now is a scary notion for these reasons:

- the question of how I will feed, house, and provide for myself and my family
- dealing with likely bouts of regret for the decision I will have made
- the unknown reaction of loved ones
- even dealing with the reactions of acquaintances with whom I'm not all that close
- can I grow my own food?
- how will I afford to return to my home country when I need to?
- how will I afford to buy the few expensive things that I still may want (a computer, a running watch, a nice TV every decade or so)?

AJ Snook's Amazon Author Page
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