Would the Buddha enjoy manicures?
These thoughts crossed my mind as I was relaxing on fathers day. My son and my wife got me a Pedicure that morning. I must say, it was a very relaxing experience.
Physical pleasure seems to be engraved into our very core. There are evolutionary reasons, things that help us survive as a individual and as a species tend to feel good, whist things that might impact our survival chances for the worse seem to feel bad. So, physical pleasure keeps us on a path that is perhaps best for the species and ourselves.
I recall a story that I read once, where they had taken soldiers and “re-wired” them so that physical pain felt good to them. The problem was that they tended to get themselves killed by ignoring wounds and just pressing on. Good suicide troops, but not what you would want for the regular military.
So, we can assume that our pleasure/pain responses are there for a reason. And, it has served us pretty well in the past.
However, perhaps it’s time to start to take a look at these responses, and make conscious choices about them. Do I want to engage in this pleasure? Do I have the capacity to deal with this pain? What will the outcome of all of this be? It can be a very Zen like moment when you realize that you can look in the future, and make a choice about this experience. You can decide if it’s in your and your communities best interest to do this. You have to reflect on your actions, motives and beliefs.
Life is reflective. Your actions reflect back on you. All of life is reflective in this manner. Your outlook, your demeanor will reflect back on you. How you perceive the world is how the world becomes. If you take the time to reflect on your actions a pattern will emerge. If you are hateful, you will tend to get hate in return. If you are loving, you will tend to get love in return. You should question each act and belief. Assure yourself that it does not harbor any hate.
Questioning is a integral part of this thing we call life. You have to question yourself, your motives and your actions at every turn. Some seem to take questioning as an affront. Questioning simply is a tool for exploration. If your belief structure cannot stand up to a question, how strong is it?
If your belief cannot stand up to a pedicure, well, that’s just another story.