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My Insatiable Desires: A Personal Reflection

When I was a little kid, my parents taught me to live in moderation --- be thankful for what I have. Those were the days when life was dictated by the rising and setting of the sun. But as a child, I had big dreams and I worked on them painstakingly until this day. One of the constant reminders of my parents that always rings a bell is to live within the means. I always failed to carry it out that's why I was always in trouble. LOL! But mind you, it's all about moderation.

As I grew up, my needs and wants grew with me. In the comfort of my solitude, I sought for an answer. As I read through a Zen Buddhist site, this was what struck me: "I kept complaining that I had no shoes, until I met one with no feet." It stabbed me and made a permanent laceration into my consciousness.

Why do I keep looking for more when I have already found some? I am a promdi. I must have simple wants and simple needs. As a tomato grower in a rural setting, I should believe that when I die and go to heaven, all I need are heavenly tomatoes and nothing else. But why do I have huge cravings for more? You might remind me of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I am aware of it. But my needs and wants still keep growing.

When I was an 8-5 employee in the Philippines for more than a decade, I earned a decent income that satisfied the basic needs of my family. Now that I have finally ascended into this land of tremendous recession, why am I still satisfying the same basic needs? I have never elevated into another step of the ladder. This is what gives me all the disappointments in life.

My friends congratulated me for joining the Filipino workforce that would serve the grandchildren of Uncle Sam in various counties and districts in the US. They told me that my most sought-after dreams are now within my reach. I should tell them otherwise. If there is one stark difference, it is the currency's symbol. All others are the same.

Sometimes a thought crosses my mind: perhaps I am not just open-minded to reality...and here is Zen Buddhist teaching again that haunts me: "How can you fill the cup of tea when it's already full?"

Is it my education that created a thick wall against reality? Is it my principle? Or is it my personal philosophy? It is so tiresome. I sometimes think that I am now on the verge of disillusionment. It scares me because it may affect my sanity in the long run.

I think I need to pause for a while and "listen to the sound of a one hand clapping..."

Have you heard of one?


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