Can There Be Satisfaction in this Life?

By Rudra Shivananda

pexels-photo-723031.jpegGreed is one of the emotions associated with our navel chakra. At the first chakra, the almost omnipresent desire for life gives rise to the instinct for survival while in the second chakra it gives rise to the instinct to reproduce. In the third chakra, there is the desire to control our environment including other people. This gives rise to all the efforts to shelter from the elements and to ensure a dependable food supply.

Over time, the simple desire to control our environment has given over to more complex urges to accumulate possessions beyond necessity, giving rise to greed. After all, how much money does one need to live a comfortable life? How big a house, how expensive a car, how much jewellery and how many wives or husbands? It appears there is no answer and like the gobbling monsters of nightmares and video-games, the mouth is huge and always ready to swallow some more.

The sad fact is that greed prevents us from finding satisfaction in our lives. There cannot be contentment because we have been brought up as a consumer society and greed is actually encouraged – the loud voice says that the one who dies with the most wins, even though, a tiny whispering voice warns that you cannot take it with you.

We are discontented when we see someone else with more than us and we would like to take it aware from them. Everything has a range of bigger, better, prettier, more expensive, rarer etc. etc. to lure one into desiring after it. How many cars can you drive at one time? Does one person really need a dozen cars?

Amazingly, greed is not limited to material things. Spiritual students can become greedy for more and more spiritual techniques and can accumulate many more than they can possibly practice and still pine for more. Some become greedy for spiritual experiences and journey here and there to get something from this Master or that one.

The antidote to greed is contentment and a feeling of abundance. We need to detach from envy and desire for possessions beyond necessity. Find a middle path – you don’t have to limit yourself to a grass hut if it is in your means to live in a sturdy house in a good neighbourhood. The danger of greed is going beyond your need or beyond your means. If you obtain something that you cannot afford, it will cause misery down the road. Be contented and happy with what you have – this is an active meditation that has to be done constantly. Visualise yourself as you are now, with what you have now and see yourself being happy and contented. Don’t wait for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow before you try to be contented – these illusory goals are mirages that disappear when you approach them. Do it now.

 

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