I was talking yesterday to a painter who came to repair some leak damage in the house, and he was telling stories about work he had done in a millionaire’s home, and how he had done a job for a director of a company who owned many houses. It reminded me that people consider that kind of thing precious.
From a buddhist point of view, I find it interesting to talk about what is precious. A long time ago, people would have said gems, jewellery, gold, these things are precious. Today many people would say, smartphones, houses, money in the bank, those are desirable. But really a monk would let it all go, the dharma tells us that neither beauty nor utility will lead us to happiness.
It is curious how the spirit of letting go influences our view of what is precious. It slowly disappears. We can still look at what is pleasing, good aesthetics, cleanliness, good light, a certain artistic sensibility. But these are things you strive to bring into everyday life, not things you want to possess.