Greed, jealousy, and attachment: the soap opera of our lives

We live in a culture of wanting more– more money, more clothes, more food, more technology. Turn on any tv station and every commercial caters to this cultural identity pattern of seeking the bigger, newer, cheaper, better. As I sit here typing into my iPhone, I can’t help but think about how I too am sucked into this consistent marketing ploy. I’m sure all of us have experienced wanting more and the jealousy that ensues when we see that someone else has what we want (or what we never knew we wanted.) Then, even when we get what we want, we end up wanting something else (I just bought this new yoga mat, but they just came out with the newer model and now I want that one.) Even worse, we become attached to the things, people, and situations in our lives when they all change as quickly as the stormy/sunny weather here in Massachusetts. Now, I’m not saying that I practice yoga’s aparigraha (non-greed, non-attachment, non-violence) consistently. I still get a bit teary-eyed when I scratch or dent my beautiful 10 year old VW Beetle and I usually find myself worrying about money and being jealous of those who seemingly have money and time to spare. Don’t even get me started about my jealous nature as a singer. I curl up into a ball as I listen to the glorious singers before me at each audition, jealous of the talent they have and the talent that I believe I don’t. However, the difference is that I am now aware of it. I can stop myself, take a step back, and remember that while we enjoy things on this earth, or want things that others have, those things (and people, and situations) will change or leave as life moves on. That isn’t to say that we should all go running away to live in a cave as a social outcast like the ancient yogis of India. Actually, in some ways, that’s taking the easy way out since its easier to be free from greed and jealousy when you are not surrounded by your possessions and those of others. Instead, the real challenge is to live our lives to their fullest extent, being aware that the life you know today will be gone tomorrow. Jeff Porter, my amazing teacher from back at home, likes to put us into a exceedingly challenging pose and say “if you hate it, it will pass. If you love it, it will pass.” Things always do. But, isn’t that what makes life interesting and worth waking up for?

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One thought on “Greed, jealousy, and attachment: the soap opera of our lives

  1. I love this blog post. It is worth waking up for because you never know what is going to happen today. Who you are going to meet. What wonderful, inspirational, touching moment is going to happen. It’s the mystery and it’s not to be missed.

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