One morning, my routine went awry when my watch and wedding ring went missing. They were linked together, that I was sure about, for I usually link them just before bedtime. But where were they? Not in my hat, along with keys and wallet and glasses, where I usually stow them. Not near my computer monitor, nor any of the shelves nearby. Getting desperate, I looked in my car. No luck, and I was sure anyhow that I’d brought them in.
So they were in the house, but where? I dithered around a bit, then realized that I was getting nowhere, and had to forget about them to remember them. So I went about the rest of my morning routine. Breakfast, blogging, clean the cat-box. Then I noticed, lying on the ground near the washing machine… it was them. Watch and ring, time and eternity, found at last. Whew!
I blame the cats. I must have left the watch and ring on my desk, they discovered them, and batted them about awhile.
All that morning I experienced a strange sensation; I call it seeker-stress. A mind suffering seeker-stress repeatedly returns to thoughts of the missing item, feeling its loss over and over with an equal pang. Seeker-stress tends to cause obsessive repeated search of the same location. Therefore the need to suppress seeker-stress for the search to succeed.
Yet I have also found that, even after the item is found, a residue of seeker-stress remains!
I see in seeker-stress a lesson in Buddhism. Your possessions possess you; by your attachments you shall suffer; relief is possible only by detachment.