We see lots of advertisements informing us of a better version of something we own. Be it our smartphone or our pair of running shoes. Then there are posts in social media that inform us of new restaurants and bars. Places that offer new experience and fun.
Being an ordinary human means that we are often tempted to experience these “new” things. Why? Because we believe they bring us happiness.
Naturally, we need money to pay for those new gadgets and experiences. That is spending; and if we spend more than what we earn, then poverty follows. One simple solution, is to earn more; but that means higher work commitments and stress.
Buddhism offers an alternate set of wisdom by nipping the bud of our problems.
CRAVING! (the source of our problems)
One of the best mantra for accumulating wealth is as follows.
Craving causes suffering, I DON’T NEED THAT.
Just repeat this to ourselves the next time an advertisement catches our attention; or when we see something we like in a shopping mall. Rein in our mind before it runs amok and convince itself that we cannot live without that purchase.
If we examine temptation carefully; it is all related to our sensory indulgence.
For example taste. Just check your fridge and pantry. Do you have expired stuff or ingredients that were left over from a culinary experiment? By reining in our craving, the world would witness less food wastage? Okay, I am guilty of that too. Korean chilli paste, Japanese Miso, pasta, and the list is never ending. Used it once and its left there for months. Do I need them for happiness? Absolutely not; if I knew contentment.
Shoes and clothing that were worn once and then left in the wardrobe untouched. Collections of CDS and DVDs? And for religious people, sometimes we just want to collect beautiful religious artworks, don’t we? Like I said, craving comes in many forms and IT IS EXPENSIVE to have too much craving.
Therefore, the 1st step for creating wealth is, accumulation. (Also known as savings) The businessmen don’t want you to know that. They want you to spend and spend. That is why they pay advertisers to celebrate spending.
Craving causes suffering, I DON’T NEED THAT. (a very useful reminder for me and I hope it will be useful to you too)
Once we learn to be contented, our mind do not chase after sensual stimulations. Then it is easier for us to realize the inner peace and happiness within ourselves. That is why monks live frugally; because that kind of lifestyle is conducive for enlightenment.
Therefore, Buddhist message of contentment is actually an antidote to the toxic message of mindless spending. We reboot our mind and learn to celebrate frugality instead of extravagance. I think that will help heal our world too.
May all be well and happy.