January 3, 2019

Mindfulness Quells Desires To Consume






“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh



Consumerism is dependent on a population that is insecure. Consumers consume more after been pushed off balance by advertising, propaganda, and cultural programming designed to cause us to be fearful and incomplete.

We try to buy our way back to balance, but it does not work, and we become even more wobbly. How do we get out?


Mindfulness. An awareness of the present, unhindered by past and future desires. Through this, we reclaim our attention, and our freedom to be unassailed by ceaseless messages to buy, buy, buy.



"The ‘attention economy’ can be understood as a new arena of struggle in our age of neoliberal governmentality; as the forces of enclosure – having colonized forests, land and the bodies of workers – are now extended to the realm of our minds and subjectivity. 
This poses questions about the recovery of the ‘mindful commons’: the practices we must cultivate to reclaim our attention, time and lives from the forces of capitalization."

- Peter Doran


One of the mindfulness practices that has been cultivated over the ages is the simple experience of preparing and drinking tea. 



1. Make your tea with care and attention.


2. Find a nice, quiet place to drink the tea. Before settling in, notice the tea, the place, yourself.


3. Before taking your first sip, give thanks. Think about how it is that you have clean water. Consider that the tea was grown far away, then picked by human hands. Express your gratitude for everything that had to happen for you to be enjoying this tea, in this place, at this moment.


4. Enjoy the tea. Sip it. Notice how the steam rises from its surface. Feel it in your mouth, your throat, your tummy. Take a few deep breaths before drinking more.


5. Finally, give thanks again. This tea, and this moment, will never happen again. It is unique and special. Feel it. Appreciate it.



The mindfulness of drinking the tea steeps down to one thing - when doing something, only do that thing. Do it with full awareness. Do it completely, and do it well. Be in that moment.


The drinking of the tea, or any other activity engaged in with mindfulness, shows us there is only now. No past, no present, and no reason for insecurity. 


Therefore, there is no desire to engage in mindless activities, including consumerism. 


Slowly we learn that the moment is enough. We are enough. Just living is enough.




2 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, I think I will go make a cup of hot herb tea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make that a tea for two and I will join you.

      Delete

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