Vacation Lesson Number 2: Your job is to want less, when you want less you have more.

This wasn’t a dream lesson, it was a phrase that spoke itself to me from the trees and the hillsides and the bluebirds on my walk this morning. I think many people would call these voices that I hear the voice of God. But it doesn’t sound like anyone else’s voice to me. The words come from my mind, from the people around me, from responding to the media and the global buzz, from the books I read, my history, our history and our culture. I imagine that Mohammad and Jesus heard a similar voice. I imagine that you do too, if you listen.

Lesson 2, part 1: Your job is to want less. When I want more my life revolves around acquiring what I want. I become focused on making money so I can purchase the things I want. I accumulate stuff. I judge my success relative to what other people have. So, my job is to want less. My job is to notice when my mind is focused on wanting stuff, wanting things I do not have. When I notice I am in ‘wanting mode’ I can choose to sort circuit that. There are certainly things that I need. I need to go to the grocery store this afternoon and pick up bread and milk. I need to quench my thirst, a glass of water will take care of that need. And that is all I truly need at the moment. The list of ‘wants’ might be large: new shoes, clean the car, chocolate. My job is to want less: a miracle happens and I am free.

I take a walk in the woods instead of going shopping. The mantra presents itself quietly in my mind at first: your job is to want less, when you want less you will have more. I begin to repeat the mantra. A deep freedom arises.

Lesson 2, part 2: I open myself up to seeing what I already have. A beautiful place to live. I walk on the paths at Bald Hill and watch the first bluebirds of the season flurry from the fence line to the still leafless oak tree. The chatter like crazy as they return home and prepare to roost. I stop to look at a small brown newt in the middle of the path. They like to sunbathe on these still coolish spring mornings. I hike deeper into the woods. A pair of nesting crows is disturbed by my dog Allee’s and my presence. The crows start to chatter a storm at us and I become quiet and listen to the great symphony of the forest. I restrain Allee from chasing a deer. We find a quiet off shoot of the path and set my pack down and do some yoga. Simple poses using downed trees as props. I breath deep and sit still for a few minutes then return to the path and my mantra. As we walk down the hill a Pileated Woodpecker flies right in front of us and lands on a tree. My body feels strong and healthy so I jog the rest of the way back to the car. This is wealth and abundance. My job is to want less, when I want less I have more.