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Consumption: Week 4 of No Paper Cups and Joining a Credit Union
Submitted by Margarita M. on Tue, 4/24/2012, 2:13pm
Week four, wow! How time flies when you're consuming responsibly. No paper cups were used this week. And... Hazzah, I've done it! I've opened an account with a federal credit union. It took about forty five minutes (after six months of preparation and, mostly irrational, trepidation). Now of course I'll need to start moving my actual banking to my new CU account. I've heard good things about the LES Federal Credit Union's online banking system and look forward to taking it for a spin next week.
A Moment of Thanks
The mind is such a funny predictable thing (at least mine). After plotting and worrying for months about this one particular step (opening an account) what happens when the step is completed? Is there a moment of congratulation? A feeling of accomplishment? A metaphorical pat on the back for a job (finally) well done?
All that comes up is the burning question of what's next?
It's all right. I'm used to it, this mind of mine, this rushing, consuming, overwhelmed, frazzled, dazzled, confused, stubborn ego mind.
I do believe that some celebration and congratulations are in order. Opening this credit union account is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. And now it's done. I have the card in my wallet. I'd like to thank my friends and family for believing in me, never giving up hope that I can accomplish whatever I set out to do. And I'd like to thank the Spirit, that life force which moved my body-mind-soul to walk over to the credit union office WITH all the proper documents on hand. I am grateful for my infinite wisdom in brining me to this point in my life, and I accept this Academy Award... oops! Sorry, wrong acceptance speech.
To Stay, To Go
As far as using paper cups goes I found that it all comes down to this question: To stay, or to go? A favorite meditation teacher Pema Chodron in her talk on Getting Unstuck describes the sitting practice as "learning to stay".
We learn to stay with ourselves, including physical sensations, emotions and mental patterns. Instead of piling on judgments, recriminations, or doubts, instead of attempting to fix, or push away, or disregard that which is arising we learn to simply be with it. And when judgment, recrimination, doubt, fixing, attachment, aggression or spacing out appear we practice noticing, with kindness. In sitting meditation we train attention, like a rambunctious puppy, to return to it's place, to return to the here and now.
In my practice of refraining from paper to-go cups I've noticed something. Even when I don't have my thermos most tea/coffee places (even Starbucks) offer ceramic washable vessels from which to enjoy one's tea/coffee as long as you're willing to stay. So I've been learning "to stay" and I actually quite like it. Even when pressed for time and thirsty I found the three minutes it took for me to drink my peppermint tea from a real cup were minutes well spent.
What's the rush anyway? If I'm getting a latte why not sit and take the time to actually enjoy that artfully prepared beverage.
Where are we all rushing to that we need to carry drinks in single use containers wherever we go? Convenience is one thing but I admit I'm appalled when I think of all the paper cups I've used and tossed in the past year... two years... ten years? Gasp! One by one, it didn't seem like much. And honestly I didn't give it much thought. But altogether... it's a distinctly uncomfortable volume of completely unnecessary trash.
One more week to go of the Responsible Consumption challenge. Who knows what sorts of feats of will and brilliant insight we will manifest!
We are on this journey as a community. Read all the Responsible Consumption posts and follow along as we examine our habits.
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by Eman Nep