Desire
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Chisoku: Be Satisfied with What You Have

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This is an except from Mind Macros 02.

“In Buddhism we say chisoku, which means ‘be satisfied’. Knowing how much is enough is about finding satisfaction in what you already have. Human desire is endless. Once we acquire one thing, we desire ten of them. And when we acquire ten things, we want a hundred. Even though we know we don’t need it, we are unable to rein in our desire. Once engulfed by these feelings, there is no way to satisfy ourselves. There will be times when we want something we do need. There is nothing wrong with this. But once we acquire the minimum necessary amount, we must learn to tell ourselves, ‘Ah, this is enough for me.’ And then we must keep in check our desire for other things.” — From Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyō Masuno (view my summary).

Be aware of the endless path of human desire and its insatiable nature. According to mimetic theory discussed last week, human desire is a want for what others possess. Consider if you truly need something or if it is being sold to you by these models we seek to emulate.

Indian-American entrepreneur Naval Ravikant has a striking observation about desire:

“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”

Become wiser in four minutes.

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