WHAT DO CHOCOLATE, SEX AND ALCOHOL HAVE IN COMMON?
I am sure they have lots of things in common…we could go all day speculating about it!
But to me the main thing they have in common is that chocolate, sex and alcohol are best when experienced separately and in moderation.
We all may crave some chocolate sometimes, but while eating one square can bring you joy, eating 10 squares may not necessarily make the experience 10 times more enjoyable.
The line between pleasure and pain can be a very thin one, which often can be crossed if our awareness has not been sharpened.
We are this sensing machine going around smelling, tasting, hearing, touching, seeing, and imagining. So much input, especially if you walk into a shopping centre! And it is from these inputs that craving is born: I like this, I want that, I am hungry. And whenever craving is present its opposite is also bound to appear: aversion.
Then we are thrown from side to side with likes and dislikes: running towards what appeals to us, pushing away what we don’t like. And that is happening not only with our eating, our drinking or our shopping list, but also in our relationships with other people, in our health, in our work. Truly it is happening constantly. And it is causing us a lot of stress and dissatisfaction.
How to we free ourselves from such madness?
Sometimes I love to go away on meditation retreats. There, often after a couple of days, I start feeling less stressed and more at peace with myself.
While I could technically do retreats at home by turning all the phones and computers off, I feel that I am still too close to all that I perceive needs fixing, changing or improving to be able to have real ‘time off’. I am still too caught up in the ‘wants’ and the ‘don’t wants’ of my day-to-day life.
But the nicest thing I notice after coming back from one week of meditation, like I did last week, is that I am more grounded and less caught up in the madness of worldly life. It gives me a better perspective about what matters the most and also a better perspective about who I am and where I fit in the bigger picture.
Sometimes that’s all that one needs to become happier: to learn how to see life from a more detached perspective.