I have a Zen 2011 Daily Calendar. Friday's quote from Buddha was, "In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?" I have tremendous difficulty with the last one, letting go.
Coincidentally, on Friday as well, I was told about a blog in which a woman writes of her decision to not purchase anything new or not needed for a year. http://angelabarton.com/2008/12/less-than-a-week-until-i-take-the-oath/. The person telling me said she was 4 days into her own non-purchasing project and I said I would give it a try (TRY!). Saying this caused little heart palpitations, because I am not good at following through with these types of projects, but a little fear and trepidation can be good for the soul - and great material for a blog.
When I got home and again glanced at the quote from Buddha (I never know if it should be THE Buddha or just Buddha...) I thought of the connection between his words and this new project. I initially took Buddha's words to mean a letting go of expectations, of others and oneself, but I also know that Buddhism teaches a letting go of dependency on physical objects. We do not own the objects, they own us. When we cease depending on stuff to make us happy, we are left with ourselves and holy non-consumerism, that can be frightening!
I am really unsure about this project. I am lazy and able to justify purchases easily (it helps the economy!). Right now I am thinking, "Shoot! I have to get stuff for Easter! My Oprah magazine renewal form came in the mail! I have a $10 coupon from Borders!" Deep breath. I said I would try this. I am letting go of the expectation that I will alter my habits completely overnight. Maybe today I will resist purchasing one unneeded thing. Maybe I will develop a new practice: Baby Steps Toward Buddhism.