Every day, as I walk out of our hotel, on rue Dauphine, temptations await in the form of Desigual dresses and fancy sandals, and purses on sale for 60% off. I have sworn I will not buy anything during this trip. Now, I find my resolution waning.
I am reminded of the story about the Dalai Lama, driving down Fifth Avenue during Christmas, and being awed, and tempted by all the goods displayed in the store windows. And laughing about it . . .
The Dalai Lama's human-ness serves to show me the difference between feeling the craving, and indulging it. It is actually quite an interesting process. Getting in touch with the unpleasantness, the physical tug at the throat, the frazzled energy that besiege me as I dwell in the wanting. And then imagining the temporary high from buying the Desigual dress, and the letdown that will follow.
Revisiting my notes from earlier retreat with Andrea Fella two months ago, particularly her talk on the Second Noble Truth:
When we get what we want, we get a double hit of pleasantness:
1) getting what we want
2) having pain of wanting go away
We start to believe the only way to get happiness is to get what we want combined with release of the wanting. As the pleasure of the satisfied craving fades away, we want more of same thing, or we create more wants. This is a perpetual cycle.
. . .
The Buddha recognized this was not very satisfying, and that a deeper happiness resulted from letting go of the craving. This requires a leap of faith. There are lots of opportunities for testing this out . . . Of getting in touch with feelings of wanting, and the experience of unpleasantness associated with wanting itself. Realizing that wanting is dependent on causes. Also seeing that feeling of wanting eventually disappears, and leads to feeling of satisfaction. This can get tricky, as when we start looking for, wanting moment when wanting disappear. It is not about getting rid of wanting, but instead understanding it, and as we do, it will let go of itself.
Using every moment as opportunity to practice. Forsaking the indulgence of small cravings for the chance to experience real, unconditioned happiness.