29th July 2017

I have been thinking today about the gulf between intention and impulse, about the primacy of desire and the ability to satisfy it so easily, and thoughtlessly, via the internet. I have been thinking about buying a zafu, a meditation cushion. I have been meditating more regularly. I have also been thinking about clearing out, decluttering. These two desires are not at odds, not inconsistent with each other. I might mediate more, but have fewer things. The meditation cushion is £18, not a huge sum of money, but my impulse to buy it does not guarantee I will meditate more. If I had to buy a meditation cushion in person I would think about it more carefully. They’re heavy and unwieldy, and if I bought one from the Buddhist Centre it would likely cost more than £18 and with good reason. The internet makes it possible for me to buy without thinking. I could buy just by clicking and the act of buying and the act of owning are separated by a distance in time which allows me to buy more things that take time to arrive. I want to meditate more, but waiting for a cushion to arrive is not solving the problem. Then, whilst waiting for my wine to filter (an act which might take a small eternity) I sat for a while on my beanbag watching the slow drip, drip, drip, relentlessly slow and it occurred to me that my beanbag would make a perfectly good meditation cushion. Nothing acquired, nothing lost, cash in the bank, resources spared. My intention is met, my impulse avoided. Sometimes we need to just sit by and think for a while before acting. This didn’t used to be such a ground-breaking concept.

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