Craving, Aversion, and the New Chair

I’ve been thinking, well really meditating, a ton these days on the nature of suffering. Much, if not all, suffering stems from our cravings and aversions. Just think about it, when you have a cold, you spend a whole lot of energy thinking about how rotten you feel and not wanting to feel so rotten (I just had a cold and caught myself thinking “I hate stuffed up noses etc.” on more than one occasion). Up crops aversion. Our reaction to our circumstances often causes us more pain than the actual underlying discomfort. Or think about how much we want/desire so many things. Even really good things. Often, however, when we obtain that thing we are only momentarily happy (because having obtained the desired object, person, experience etc., we finally are without craving for about a second or two). A good deal of the work in meditating is just observing your bodily sensations unfold from one second to the next, from one breath to the next. The most obvious bodily sensation to cue into is our breath, which is why so many meditators focus on the breath. And then, when you see your mind wandering off, it is usually into the past or into the future. As a society, we spend so little time actually present in the moment at hand. I know that this is certainly the case for me. I am a planner. I tend not to live too much in the past (in part because I have such a bad memory), but oh how I love to plan for the future. And move furniture around. But moving furniture is sort of like moving your leg when it is falling asleep in meditation. Eventually, you are back to the relative dissatisfied state and want to move again, to see how life can be in a new arrangement or how your body can feel in a new position. And sometimes it is no better, sometimes worse, than the way it was before. Hence the phrase, “wherever you go, there you are.”

Still, sometimes you make a purchase that is completely satisfying for days on end. And so it is with this mid-century modern chair I found at a second-hand shop (I’ve found that buying anything with a past adds considerably to my satisfaction with it). It was $100 and I had $100 in store-credit for no longer wanted items that I had sold to the store owner. Win Win, right? Here is a picture of the chair.

The Absence of Craving

Kind of looks like an airplane ready to take flight. I think the design of this chair may have been influenced by the development of our country’s space program. Anyway, the only problem  with the chair is that I am already thinking it might look better in another room. Better than buyer’s remorse, but I am not a very highly evolved meditator I guess.

For a moment at least

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1 comment
  1. Julie Coleman said:

    Love this post, Heidi! Lots of good things to think about…. And the new chair looks very cozy! 🙂

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