Q: Why don’t Buddhists vacuum in corners.
A: Because they have no attachments.
– Popular Buddhist joke
A few years ago, I came to the realization that I was a pack rat. I would accumulate tons and tons of junk and never throw it away because I always felt that I might need it again. As a result, I was as messy as messy can be.
When I started getting into zen, I read about the principle of “no attachment.” When it was time to move to the place I live now, I decided to go through everything I owned and ask myself, “Am I really attached to these items?” Now I sit here in front of my computer in an almost barren room, devoid of the papers and gadgets that inhabited it before. I don’t think I have longed for any of the items I threw away once.
I often think about just what am I attached to. What would, if taken away from me, cause me stress and despair? My computer is the first thing that comes to mind, along with a lot of the things that come along with it-my music, my settings, programs, the way I have set the damn thing up, even my porn, although I delete it pretty much everyday, I know how to get quality new porn within seconds. So, I have an attachment to my passwords to porn sites. I worked pretty hard for them!
But no, this is not limited to material objects, either.
I clench really hard onto my ego. I have built a life for myself where I have minimized the chance that I will ever be put in a situation where my self-esteem will be lowered, whether it be through an insult, or humiliation at something dumb I did. No, I won’t talk to that girl because I don’t want to damage my ego. That is what I’m REALLY saying when I am afraid to go talk to a female. Yes, being afraid is the surface level emotion, but underneath lies an ego that REFUSES to be bruised!
This life that I have built is one of constant fear. I remember, in college, I used to rap and perform on stage, but I became so nervous and self-conscious about it, that I eventually quit.
So what can I do about the problem of my ego?
I CAN DESTROY IT!
I can be present, and be cognizant that this is going on, and take actions to move outside of my comfort zone. Instead of being afraid to talk to that girl, I should just say, “fuck you ego, I’m doing it.” It also helps to not automatically assume the worst in every situation.
It will be hard my friends, but I can do it!
Note: I am going to post my goals tomorrow, I have already written down my problems, I am just taking some time to look them over. I want them to really sink in and marinate before I set any course of action for myself.