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What do we really need?

Lately, I’ve been contemplating my tendency to overlook all of the wonderful things in my life and to instead torture myself by focusing on what I don’t have or what I’m not doing,

If I’m living in Thailand, I feel like I should be traveling on the back of a camel in some majestic corner of Africa that hardly anyone’s ever seen. If I’m meditating on the floor of my apartment, I feel as though I should be ordaining as a Buddhist monk. If I’m doing my best to be kind to people in my daily life, I feel as though I should be “saving the world” by starting some large-scale non-profit. If I’ve got a $20 bill in my pocket, it should be a $100. If I’ve got a decent little blog with a few followers, it should be something that touches the lives of thousands, something like this perhaps. If I’ve got something great, I always seem to overlook it, feeling as though I should have something better.

Sometimes it’s so important to take a step back and see those deeply rooted inclinations for what they ultimately are — craving. Usually we think of craving as that sense of wanting something tangible, like an ice cream cone, a girlfriend/boyfriend, or a longer vacation, but craving takes far more deeper and broader forms as well.

When I finally got around to reflecting on all that I should have, I began feeling not only selfish but also a bit silly. I have food in my belly, a roof over my head, a healthy body and mind, loving family and great friends, a job I enjoy, and so much more. So many in this world don’t even have one of those things, let alone all of them.

Today I’m turning over a new leaf — to acknowledge and be satisfied with what I am doing and what I do have rather than dwelling on what I don’t. It’s so simple, but honestly, it’s not easy.

What are the wonderful things in your life that you’ve taken for granted? What do you really need for happiness? I wonder, if you turn around and reflect for a moment, are most if not all of those things already present?

Categories: Reflections
Posted by David Luekens on October 18, 2012
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. 10/18/2012

    It is a life long meditation, this relationship to craving we have. I think it is rooted in a biological need, it is neither good nor bad. The wonderful thing about our big human brains is that we have the capacity to curb and sometimes even transcend the impulse, rather than remain a slave to it. Good luck in your acceptance and meditations.


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