The video of Nate Hagens puts wealth and the pursuit of satisfaction into perspective.

These days people toss around the Buddhist concept of non-attachment as if they've mastered equanimity. They'll say, "I'm not attached to such-and-such", meaning they're not going to throw a tantrum if they don't get their way. But the Buddhist concept of attachment is about wanting not just the pleasant feelings that accompany your current possession or experience, but a wish for more of it and better. It's the escalation of desire that turns pleasure into suffering.

There's real skill in taking some pleasure in what you have and realizing that it's enough. Good enough. For instance, oatmeal porridge with apples and yogurt is nice-tasting, nutritious, filling, and inexpensive. It's not the buffet at the Belagio, it's nothing to rave about at the water cooler, but it's just fine and now that it's taken care of, breakfast doesn't take up room in my mind. (Important exception to this philosophy – intimate relationships. Never settle for less than being completely in love, totally mutually.)

If we observe our minds when cravings and compulsions to shop arise, just watch how they manifest and what the supposed lack feels like, we can note the duration of the bout of internal chatter. We can regard it the way we see a cranky toddler. It will pass and there can be real satisfaction in realizing that the 'need' wasn't real – that we're stronger than these habitual outbreaks of grasping.

More about my own process of simplifying life on the page called My Road to Frugal Eating.

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