Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Signs point to Yes...

I do love fortune cookies. Not so much the paper inside as the wafer, but I still want to find the information useful. A small bagful costs 79 cents at the store, so I keep them around for times when I need a small sweet and some advice.

While I would like to believe the fortune I got last week, "your future plans will succeed," at the same time, Number-One son got "your strength is in your sophistication"--a 'fortune' he immediately disproved as he ran off to show it to his dad, burping in his little brother's face on the way. This pairing of statements--revealed in the selection of baked goods--seems to suggest randomness, rather than an ability to predict.

However, it is human nature to want to find patterns, to try to discover order from the chaos of nature. Whether it's organizing the stars, tossing bones, looking at goose guts or cracking open cookies, we want a hint at what's to come based on Chance or finding a relationship between seemingly unrelated items. Last week, two ladies in the locker room were fretting about the recent earthquakes and the economy. "It makes you wonder," they said. A Sign from the Gods. Comfort against the Unknown.

(The geologist husband later sniffed, "Earthquakes happen all the time.")

I guess that's where aparigraha comes in. No clinging. We can't know what is going to happen next, so we can't worry about it; no point in wasting energy over things we can't control...especially things that haven't happened yet. Plans could succeed or they could completely fail, but nothing is goi
ng to reveal that except time. It's fun to guess at what will happen next, but, instead, we ought to appreciate the current moment.

I'll try. I'm very bad at staying in the present, rather than pondering the future. We'll see how that plan goes. Magic Eight Ball sez...

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What was the husband doing in the women's locker room?

Bob Weisenberg said...

Love the magic eight ball.

As for fortune cookies, I'm sure we're not the only ones to do this, but my wife insists on adding "in bed" to the end of each fortune.

For example, "your future plans will succeed in bed", or "your strength is in your sophistication in bed".

Usually good for a few laughs.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Rachel @ Suburban Yogini said...

I am truly terrible at living in the moment (hence the 2010 challenge of a year of mindfulness). I am always looking for signs - please tell me I'm on the right path. Ack!

roseanne said...

i have a similar fascination with tools for divination (especially astrology ~ and i admittedly have a magic 8 ball app for my iphone). i think it is, as you point out, the desire to find patterns, to discover order in chaos.

and then sometimes, i just need another point of view, some reassuring words. i don't invest a lot of faith in what these little tools tell me, or use them for any big decisions, but they are a small connection to something beyond my will...

Abby said...

I had always thought of aparigraha as related to physical possessions, not holding onto more than we need. It's fascinating to think of it in terms of knowledge, too. How often does some vague attempt at predicting the future actually serve our interests? My guess would be not nearly as much as we devote mental energy to it!

@Bob- My favorite was "You have many great assets." ...in bed.

Brenda P. said...

@Abby--technically, I think aparigraha is about material possessions. I've had teachers use it for mental "clinging" and I like to think of it in that way. I hold onto my emotional stuff a lot more than my material goods.

@Bob--yeah, I thought of that. How does that work with the fortune I got one time: "Your car will be trouble-free for the next 5000 miles"?

Anonymous said...

car of course is just a euphemism...

Bamboo Clothing said...

I lived overseas for the past year, away from everyone that I grew up with along with my family. Realizing that people aren't always going to be there for you makes you want to live in the moment more than ever. Especially when you think that at any moment something can happen that will change everything. It's been great living for today rather than tomorrow, when tomorrow isn't guaranteed.

La Gitane said...

I admit that recently I've been wondering the same thing as the women in the locker room... Not so much a sign from God, but some bad mojo maybe?

My divination tool of choice is Tarot - very much focused on the moment, and usually has this nasty habit of telling you what you already know but didn't want to hear.

It's A Yoga Thang said...

Staying present. I recently came up with a mantra to help me do this and what a difference! For aparigraha, I do tend to think more along the lines of emotional grasping rather than possessions also. :)