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Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Cup Spilleth Over 

Ignoring pointed reminders from the likes of Kabir, the Modern Man deigns to count his blessings only during a recession. And many hours of sedulously hoarding each nugget of material pursuits finds He is really better off than He gives Himself credit for. Contentment is just around the corner !
Bhutan’s edicts of Gross National Happiness get a look-in once over…

Pico Iyer’s meditative “The Joy of Less” examines some of his experiences with some of these cognitive and emotional threads as the backdrop, and emerges with a train of thought that describes what aspects of one’s personality would be more suited to a relatively unencumbered professional existence.

“ But at some point, I decided that, for me at least, happiness arose out of all I didn’t want or need, not all I did. And it seemed quite useful to take a clear, hard look at what really led to peace of mind or absorption (the closest I’ve come to understanding happiness). Not having a car gives me volumes not to think or worry about, and makes walks around the neighborhood a daily adventure. Lacking a cell phone and high-speed Internet, I have time to play ping-pong every evening, to write long letters to old friends and to go shopping for my sweetheart (or to track down old baubles for two kids who are now out in the world).”

Still, while a candid declaration portending not to miss all the material pleasures forsaken is a direct one, one cannot help if a more balanced version can be sought. Where indeed is the referenced Buddhist nous ? A mind that picks one over the other is just as bigoted and prejudiced, isn’t it ?

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