My Hungry Little Ghost

Costly Buddha

Greed comes from a belief in lack.  It’s autonomic, like its precursor anger, there is some sensitivity in our nervous system to a reflexive belief in lack.  It probably came from our ancestors, they had no way of knowing if there would be enough food so we have developed an inclination to hoard and to hang onto things.  Also like anger, greed has either a story to tell or us a question to ask us.  We’re not getting what we want; or, do we do really believe that we are enough?

The more I witness my emotions, the more I am aware that the spark of anger precedes greed.  Anger may be called by numerous names;  it’s not always a hot passionate anger. Personally, I experience it as crankiness, impatience, anxiety, irritation, annoyance, frustration, and dissatisfaction.

For example, I may experience irritation that I’m not the most financially prosperous person.  Maybe I coveted another’s success.  Maybe I compared myself to another.  This lead to feeling that I am less than. This inner attack, completely from myself to myself, causes a reflexive defensiveness.  Like an autoimmune disorder, my ego’s actually attacking another part of my mind.  Paradoxically, there’s a desire to console the bruised angry part of myself with a bright shiny bauble.  One aspect is agitated, the other desires to soothe.  One time or another this, temporarily, “worked”.  The angry part was distracted.  But, the newness wears off.  The angry part resurfaced demanding gifts: a latte, a new skirt, another degree, it became voracious.

In Chinese Buddhism the Hungry Ghost is a revenant from someone who died traumatically, or has been neglected by their ancestors.  In a nutshell, they can be dangerous because they are permanently dissatisfied.  They haven’t found peace. However, I think of it as a metaphor for Now.  In this life there is often inability to find contentment, or as the yogi say santosha.

As I shared in my previous post, anger should be observed in its natural habitat. In the same spirit, it would behoove us to observe greed.  As mentioned, greed is often unaddressed anger.  There is an abrasion, an irritation, a tapping finger, a stomping foot buried at various layers.  I am not getting what I want!  I deserve this thing!  Argh!

As my dear teacher says, “witness everything!”  Pause, notice when you feel you can’t have enough.  It is that easy.  You just have to practice.  We just choose to ignore and be possessed by the feeling with trying to satisfy it.   Ask yourself, “will this bring me peace?” “Will this bring me closer to Joy?”  Use whatever term describes yourself when there’s no problem to solve.  If the answer is “yes”, I suggest you proceed. No one outside of you can answer this.  Watch the urges.  They are insidious.  They rear their ugly head in a split second.  One minute you enjoying a meal at the dinner table then the inner spoiled child wants another piece of cake.  It’s stomping its foot.  Will it bring you love? You are already the embodiment of love.  No piece of cake and add to that.

 

The Pitch

So different
than you thought
it would be
it’s so much better
it’s kind of like water
but colder and wetter
it’s like the sun
and the miracle
of its twenty four hour run.
it’s like the alphabet,
actually, it’s more like
your favorite letter.
it’s like the best movie
before it’s even begun
or a sports car
that couldn’t get any redder
it’s the hills
and people singing
it’s one of the old adventures
in a little blue pill
it’s a relative’s telephone ringing
it’s the sky
that hasn’t fallen
it’s the person
that was just calling
it’s a resume
with a perfect header
it’s the girl
that wanted to go to prom
but her dad
just wouldn’t let her
call the papers
ready the type setter!
because I have an interesting story
of an odd little caper
that smacks of love
and life in all its glory
all I need is your ear
and the best of your time
it’s an epic that’ll spans years
a true masterpiece
that exemplifies rhyme
deserving of your sweetest tears
So what do you say?
does it sound good to you?
come sit down
there’s so much to do
Let’s start by rethinking thought
and all the food we’ve fed her,
and you’ll be surprised
at how easy it’ll be
to write this story together!

I’m too busy to meditate…

“I’m too busy to meditate”, does that sound like you?  There are times that I have perceived myself as being too busy too.  However, whether or not we are aware of it, we are meditating– we are often meditating on our inability to go inside.  We may be meditating on our stress, on our busyness, on our distractions.

The “New Thought Philosophy“– which is heavily inspired by the Himalayan Tradition– subscribes to the principle, “We create our life experiences through our way of thinking”.  If we are operating from a perspective of lack, then lack is what we manifest.

Meditation, prayer, and contemplation are a rights, they are privileges, and legacy.  We are the pure consciousness, the silence, the unnameable transcendental state that appears to project outward and condense into everything we see.  In order to maintain an awareness of our true nature, we must go inside.

All day long, like the transcendental consciousness, we are doing, making, creating.  It is very easy to forget who we really are and fully identify with our actions and creations.

Then we feel separation.  We feel like our plight is something “others” cannot understand; this is avidya.

The perceived duality of existence originates in this separation.

Yet, if we allot time, during meditation, to steep in our core– we can reduce the effects of this delusion.  We still operate in the world; but, we are not so attached to it that we feel it defines us.

So, as the sages of old and new say, “Meditate, Meditate, Meditate”.