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gotta have

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Dan took this photo at a weekend garage sale and my immediate response was, “did he buy it for me?” It’s just past 6 in the morning and already I must have something that’s not mine, already this deep-rooted greed.

It’s everywhere. When my back aches, I want to be young again. When my lover gets up without a word, I wish she’d tell me why. When my retirement portfolio takes a dip because of something that’s happening in Lybia, I feel deprived. One thing after another, never quite enough. Fact is, I have plenty. Plenty of love, strength, and security. Much to be grateful for, even more to give away.

Greed, along with anger and ignorance, is one of the Three Poisons in Buddhist practice. “They are based on separation,” explains Daido Loori, “on the illusion that things are separate from ourselves. When you turn them around, [they] become the Three Virtues. The virtue of compassion, the virtue of wisdom, and the virtue of enlightenment.” Thanks for reminding me, silly plastic monk.

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11 responses »

  1. lynn Marttila

    Interesting..on first glance I became judgemental….finding it an offensive representative of a monk…..assuming it was plastic, made in china and sold in the dollar store…..add a drop of anger and ignorance to the mix. Reading the post I was learning about Three Poisons in a Buddhist practice. Thanks silly plastic monk

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  2. its all so funny in the grand scheme of things – what fascinating creatures we are to tangle our lives so we can fret … thanks p

    ps where can you get those plastic monks? lol ;o)

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  3. ah yes, the wanting. I remember a comment by the Dalai Lama that went something like: Passing stores in NYC even he started to want what was displayed in the windows, even though he didn’t know what half of it was.

    I have one of those silly monks! My daughter bought it for me years ago, thinking it a humourous. It kinda looks like a baby doll! I have never had the nerve to actually fix it to my dashboard, though it rides in the glove box with me, as much a reminder of my daughter as it is a reminder of the Buddha!

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  4. desire desire desire we are alive! greed is the poison.

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  5. nice distinction, steve.

    “greed” usually means wanting to possess more than one needs or deserves, especially at the expense of others. see also to “covet” in the OT sense: tsk!

    to “desire,” is to want something very much. Not a moral judgment. Desire in the romantic sense is celebrated in music, art and literature.

    Dict of Etym. says about roots of the word: early 13c., from O.Fr. desirrer (12c.) “wish, desire, long for,” from L. desiderare “long for, wish for; demand, expect,” original sense perhaps “await what the stars will bring,” from the phrase de sidere “from the stars,” from sidus (gen. sideris) “heavenly body, star, constellation.”

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  6. this lust my ceaseless koan
    ~Zen master Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

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  7. even my withered branch sprouts green in the spring…..

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