We are now living in a very materialistic world. Everything we do involves spending money. Status and wealth are given so much importance. Many people prance around in social media showing off their new gadgets, trendy clothes and lovely holidays taken in faraway places. Owning things has become the core of our existence. But does owning material wealth make us happy?
Everything in Life is Temporary
According to Buddhism, there are Three Universal Truths. First is the Truth of Impermanence or Annica, Second is the Truth of No Self or Annata. Last is the Truth of Suffering or Dukkha. It states that there is nothing that is permanent in life be it goodness, wealth, health and happiness. It also says that there is no self extension and our ownership of things is just a mere concept. Last is that we suffer as we live.
Because everything in life is temporary, we need to learn not to cling on things. We need to let go of trying to possess things. Because owning or possessing things do not really make us happy. The temporariness of things causes us to be unhappy.
1. Let go of desires – Have you ever been in a mall trying to look at things and you thought of going there to cheer yourself up but in the end you feel unhappy because you weren’t able to buy anything? This is because when we desire things, specially things we cannot have, we become unhappy.
Humans are slaves to their desires, specially material desires. We want to own a house, a car and nice clothes. We want to look happy by having material possessions. We buy things to taper our hunger of material thing, only to hunger for more.
To find happiness, we need to let go of desiring things. Try buying only the things that you need. Learn to discipline your mind.
2. Try minimalism – Minimalism is a growing movement now. Minimalism means only buying the things that you need instead of trying to fill your home of useless stuff. Minimalism allows you so much freedom. It gives you the freedom to just live in a small home. A small home means having less to pay for mortgage. Cleaning your house is much easier to.
Through minimalism, you can create a life that is more meaningful and goes beyond material things.
3. Give away things that you don’t need – Letting go of material possessions has been one of the things the Buddha has done. It gave him freedom and allowed him to travel and spread the wisdom of Buddhism.
Through helping others, we feel a sense of goodness, this is immediate karmic energy that gives us that feeling. Another benefit of giving things that you don’t need is freeing your space from negative energies. It also allows you to have a better relationship with others.
4. Do not equate money with success – Do not feel that money is the center of this world. As long as you are alive, you are blessed. If you have money, share it. If you don’t have any money, it does not mean you are a loser. Money does influence many things, but it does not need to be so. You can limit the power of money in your life.
5. Live a simple life – Simplicity is equal to freedom. When you live a simple life you begin to appreciate things that money cannot buy. You can see how doing mundane things with your family and friends can make you so happy. Try to enjoy the sunrise. Go for a run outside. Drink water instead of coffee or soda. There is beauty in simplicity.
6. Eat healthy – Have you ever thought that all the food porn in the world is not good for you. If you try to eat healthy, you need not spend so much money. A lot of people will argue against that but try to eat food that is in season so that they don’t cost much.
Try cooking your won food, boil them, grill them and them prepare them simply. Enjoy raw veggies. Try eating fruits. Learn to eat clean and you can create better life for you.
Turning Away From Materialism
No, money is not evil. Many people say that money is the root cause of all evil, but it is not. It is the desire to possess money that causes evil. It is the bad intent that makes it bad.
As humans, we are prone to desire so many things. We want to have this, we want to have that. Our thirst or hunger for material things pushes us to be less human. It makes us forget compassion. Money is not bad as long as it does not rule you. Learn to use money to help those in need. Learn to be CONTENT when you are poor. Poverty does not mean unhappiness; it only becomes so when we think so.