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Enough is just everything you need


#MilestoneExperience - Enough is just everything you need

[Andrea] With the Ash Wednesday we are into Lent since a few days. In Christian traditions this marks a crossing from the exuberant excesses of Carnival to a period of humble moderation. That's were we are now. In many ways.

Certainly my age. When you are in your early 20s you think you are larger than life. You want to be everywhere, experience everything. You want more. When I was that young I used to live by a saying a friend of mine kept repeating: If you want everything, too much is just enough.

Then, you grow older, maybe you have a child, maybe you buy a house and get a mortgage, maybe you get a good position at work. All those good things come with a shift of priorities. So you realize that enough is just everything you need.

We got our enlightenment about this in – needless to say - a Buddhist center. No, not that Buddhist center. Not the one you are picturing in your mind just now. Not the kind with severe accommodation and low-headed silent monks. It was a Buddhist center we met at the northern foots of the Austrian Alps. An expensive manor house, a place full of comforts, warm and cozy inside and with a nice garden fitted with a natural swimming pool. A place where the night would end at a bar counter, drinking beer and listening to rock music. The food was overwhelming: 3 main meals a day on a buffet fashion (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available), plus coffee breaks, plus a table full of consecrated fruits, sweet and salty snacks on the lounge area always at finger's length. When we arrived the other volunteers told us the only problem with the place was to leave it gaining no more than five kg. Actually, the day we left they were on a 3-day water fasting. None would ever tell you to refrain. Yet, there was the learning point. It is up to you what you do with abundance. I'm, for example sugar addicted; it's so very hard to me to say no to something sweet right in front of my nose. So the first days at the center I had so much that I could not do any other activity properly, as my stomach was constantly digesting something. I couldn't appreciate the beautiful spiritual moments because I was lingering on material pleasure. I realized I was poisoning myself and limiting my experience out of greed.

I think we, as a society, are making exactly this step. Coming from epochs of shortage we passed through times of wealth and greed, moved by ancestral survival instincts, made us reach the excess; Now it's the moment to learn how to deal with abundance and, with that, with responsibility. If you are reading this lines you are among those that face abundance each and every second. The problems of our society are connected with over-exploitation of resources, overconsumption, overweight, overstimulation, overwhelming flow of information, overworking. Over... we just have to find ourselves in this new dimension. To sense where's the line that covers our needs and gives us that extra bit of pleasure to make us feel comfortable. To feel we have enough.

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