Emptiness practice – stuff

Inspired by Ram Dass’s story of burning his possessions, his “stash”, and hopefully an impending house move (nomads never stop! 😊), I decided to go through the “memory boxes” where I store sentimental stuff – photos, travel souvenirs, small gifts from friends, CDs and other such trinkets. The idea was to get rid of most of it or at least reduce the stash significantly.

If you want a powerful exercise in emptiness, do attempt the above.

Gee, what a challenge to face one’s attachments! Getting to start this exercise took several days and my husband nearly tripping every night on the pile of boxes. “I will get to them! I am just getting in the right mindset”. Then I’ve remembered that I do not need the mindset, which usually takes a while to wait for anyway, and approached the exercise as a service chanting “Rama Rama”. This helped me start at least.

Of course, after that I had to face the memories, the sentimentality of it all, mild hoarder tendencies awakened and I could not make much progress. So I went for a walk with my mala (beads) and meditated on why it is so hard to get rid of stuff that we deem important. The answer came – this stuff makes us. Ego needs stuff. Without this stuff we are nothing, emptiness. And we are terrified of emptiness. Once the E word came up, I felt I made a breakthrough. Hello, old friend! I now had the motivation I needed – getting rid of stuff was a part of my “facing emptiness” practice.

Well, I managed to reduce my stash by at least a half. This involved donating, recycling or binning a pile of CDs, photos and cards (from friends and our wedding), travel trinkets and papers, so many papers (certificates, memorable documents, notes, essays, etc). Inspired and brave, I decided to dig deeper and set out to get rid of the “juicy stuff” – the university and school photo albums. But I got caught in “the feels” (“aww, how dorky I looked!”, “oh no, I forgot that my friend wrote this!”, etc) and I could not overcome the attachment. One day, my dear stash, one day I will get rid of you all…

In the meantime I have to tackle memory boxes of my little one, with his art, works and photos from the last 8 years, gulp! Wish me luck… 

About nomadoftheuniverse

Nomad of the Universe, nobody special, Buddhist, student of Ram Dass. I write about happiness, meaning and spirituality. My book on Love Addiction is out on Amazon now.
This entry was posted in emptiness, self and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Emptiness practice – stuff

  1. beth says:

    it is a huge emotional undertaking. best of luck on this journey

    Liked by 1 person

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