According to Buddhists and Hindus, much of our own personal suffering is caused by attachment. We can become attached to material things, seek emotional gratification, or mental obsessions…anything that causes us to feel desire. Want, gimme gimme. If one’s spiritual practice is kept up, one will feel loving detachment and when one is in that state, a set of shelves could fall off a wall two inches from your nose, or a calamity strike, but you would still be in a state of equanimity. You wouldn’t have ignored these occurrences, it is just that you would not have reacted to them. Mental calmness. I found myself reacting today and I remembered a day in the distant past when those shelves fell and I was not only unfazed but unscathed. Such was my practice of yoga and meditation at that time. That was then and this is now and, while I still have fewer attachments, I do have many and they cause me to react and suffer because I am currently undisciplined. Today, I felt a strong reaction because I wanted to go somewhere but my plans were scuttled. I’ve been housebound and had so looked forward to a getaway. When it did not materialize, I though, c’est la vie, there’s always next time, but afterwards I felt less cavalier and I started feeling melancholy, then stress. I recognized an old pal: suffering…because of attachment, desire. I’m now aware that I need to do things differently. I don’t have the luxury of isolation, as I did before, but ‘householders’ can fulfill their practice by daily routines and still achieve equanimity. The Greeks have antidote, too, called komboloi, worry beads. Worry beads are used in many cultures, as a form of relaxation. I bet using them helps one enter a theta brain wave state, the state reached when meditating. Worry beads must be as old as the hills. They often look like prayer beads and, in fact, some may be prayer beads. The act of touching them, worrying them, clicking them gives relief. Some are made of clay…simple, humble…. Along with the following links, here is more info and some tips on how to use them.
Not-to-Worry Beads (not clay)