I read a book recently about big ideas, and Buddhism got a mention.
The ultimate goal in Buddhism, according to this book, is to eliminate craving and live in the now. When we crave, we suffer. Indeed, to crave is to suffer. A perfectly normal human condition which Buddha urges we avoid at all costs due to the philosophical price tag.
I mention this because the other day I was in a doctor's waiting room, and I was suffering because I faced the prospect of paying the gap, something I normally crave to never pay.
Thinking back in Buddhist terms I must have been suffering even before I arrived because of that craving.
I was suffering even more when I realised the gap was looming.
In an effort to live in the now, I sat down and started thumbing through the mags, which was probably a mistake.
Interesting the magazines you get in waiting rooms. They kind of tell you about the place you're waiting at and what it thinks you might be capable of. Like paying the gap.
Clearly I was not at the barbers because there was not one mag about dirt bike racing, fishing of golf.
The mags in this waiting room were exclusively about high-end architecture, renovations and cutting edge interior design, and rightly or wrongly, I started to make a connection between these things and paying the gap.
I'd been to a bulk-billing general practice a couple of weeks before and there'd been no magazines at all, just incessant morning TV blaring on a flat screen. Talk about suffering. But I wasn't paying any gap, so I craved only one thing, they turn off the TV.
Back at this other waiting room, the glossy mags only served to highlight a second gap - between the houses in the mags, and my humble pile. I think they call it a Grand Design moment, characterised by craving things you'll never be able to afford.
Coincidentally, Kevin McLeod is touring Australia at the moment fielding many questions about his fabulous TV show, the central one being, where do the people get the resources to fund these dream homes?
Inheritance seemed a bit vulgar, so Kevin suggested many got lucky playing the real estate game - back in the 1600s I think.
Like Grand Designs, the mags in this waiting room waxed lyrical a lot about architects who'd returned from exotic places, charged up spiritually to collaborate with clients who didn't seem to have jobs, but many of whom had just returned from New York having slummed it in a loft apartment on Central Park, which they'd renovated too. Both the loft and Central Park. Everyone seemed intent on "embracing the lived experience".
It got me contemplating the lived experience of my carpets back at my house and how long they'd been under foot, or vice versa, and from two gaps, I nearly started contemplating jumping off a third.
Just in time my name was called out and I was back in the now of the waiting room, craving nothing more than a clean bill of health, grandly resigned to suffering no more about hard to achieve big ideas.