Renunciation.

Brooklyn N.Y.  September 10th, 2016

 

While conversing with some new friends, I picked up my bag and began to walk…

The bag was open and my camera jumped out like Simone Biles.  It began its routine with a back somersault into a tumble which, in some cases, might have been absolutely beautiful considering how it stuck the landing. 

The shattering of the glass seemed to take a little longer than a normal shattering of glass.  As I waited there for what seemed to be a 6 hour masterful gymnastic routine, I began to think about what this would mean to me.  “I have other cameras, I have insurance, I should be ok”.  (I held it together pretty well, disguising my solitary tear as sweat)  Funny though, listening carefully, the loudest noise was the hearts breaking of the many other photographers that were congregating on the street looking along.  I could see the concerned faces and it actually made me feel super grateful.  The overwhelming mood of solidarity as I reached down to pick up my camera was enough to reach The All Merciful Lord.  I shook my camera off a little and looked through the viewfinder. 

 

“Looks good!” I said as I hit the shutter button.  The images came out pretty good.  I was relieved but more than that, I felt respect.  In an environment where people are not necessarily caring for one another, every person surrounding my little Gabby Douglas of a camera was truly concerned with its well-being.

 

I am often reminded that having things is never the problem.  Attachment to those things is.

As a spiritual practice, renunciation is a very potent way to get in touch with your true self and with God.  Renunciation, however, has received a bit of a bad rep.  People feeling as though the things that they have spent countless hours trying to acquire should never be treated with such frivolity.  While that is absolutely true, the attachment to the material aspect of things is quite often the hindrance in making progress on a spiritual level.  Understanding that our situations are temporary and have profound meaning and importance beyond their physical or material representatives.  I remember walking out of my house a few years ago to see my pristine Audi S4 gone… forever.  It was an interesting feeling.  I knew that the “love” I had for this vehicle was pretty fickle, as the NEW S4 would be arriving in just a few years and I would be lusting after that and thinking that my current S4 would be completely obsolete.  Isn’t it funny how things work? The value of things is truly only what we assign to them. 

 

So it is really the attachment to things that we need to curb.  Money, cars, homes… these bodies.  All of these things are temporary designations that we should absolutely care for, but never allow to cloud our vision.  We have a deeper service here, during our short residency on earth.  We can’t let things stop us from our purpose. 

 

We have to use things to help us with the love of people/God.
NOT
Use People/God to help us with our love of things

 

Love.

a.

Image Courtesy of Steven Jermaine

Image Courtesy of Steven Jermaine