Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: December 16, 2002

Buying Presence

            A wide range of purchases enters our lives, from necessities to luxuries, from the essential to the frivolous, from morning until night. Each transaction calls forth a process that may include research, comparisons, visualization, calculation, projection, choice and decision-making. We may consider the degree of necessity, how much to spend, what to buy, how to pay for it, what brand, color, style, and size. The modern market economy produces such a cornucopia of goods and bombards us with such an onslaught of advertising that, except for routine buys, purchasing decisions consume a good deal of our energy and attention. With some of this attention we can work to become aware of ourselves in the process leading up to each purchase.

            The whole of this culminates in the moment of the transaction. We write the check, swipe the card, count out the cash, or click on “Buy.” We can turn this event to account for our inner work. Whenever we buy something, we can make that act a reminder to be present, to work at sensation in that very moment of transaction. We experience the actual touch of the pen, or the plastic, or the cash, or the mouse click. We notice our emotional state, be it harried, excited, anxious, relieved, satisfied, generous, or neutral. We maintain presence as we take possession of our purchase and move on.

            Presence in buying can open a new window into our inner world and a new impetus for spiritual practice.


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