What Do Corduroy Pants Have To Do with Buddha? ~ Sara Furay

Via Sara Furay
on Oct 23, 2013
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Not long ago, I was purchasing a new pair of corduroy pants, several actually. 

As I was paying, the woman behind the counter said, “You’re so lucky, I can’t wear corduroy. The sound they make drives me nuts.”

I thought to myself, “What a funny, little duck this woman was and what a very odd thing to say.”

Now I admit, as I do with most conversations, this exchange got replayed a bit in my mind, but solely for amusement. Until one morning, I was walking the halls at work in my new pants and…


That’s right, I could hear my corduroy pants.

Great. Just perfect. This went on for much of the day and frankly it did kind of drive me nuts. I was annoyed. I was equally annoyed at both the pants and the woman who brought this to my attention. Who wants to hear their pants? I tried to stop hearing them but the more I tried to not hear them, the more I heard them. It really became a bother.

Later that day after I had arrived home, I realized at some point during the day, I had stopped hearing my pants.

When I turned my attention away from my pants and to the kids I was teaching and the other tasks of my day, I just stopped noticing my noisy corduroys.

This little run in with my pants really got me thinking about the whole idea of attending. Yes, noisy pants are pretty harmless, but what other thoughts might l be letting sneak into my head? Thoughts that may be directing my attention to somewhere I didn’t want it to be?

So, what do corduroy pants have to do with Buddha?

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.

~ Buddha

When I heard these words of Buddha’s in yoga, it brought up all of the thoughts I had been having about this idea of attending, of noticing.

The power of our thoughts is probably one of the most discussed topics. We hear a lot about positive thinking and visualizing but I think we can underestimate this simple notion of noticing.

Our world begins to fill with that which we give our attention.

We must pay attention to what we are thinking and noticing because that is what we will think and notice more.

What are the “noisy pants” in your life?

What thoughts have crept in that are redirecting your attention?

Are there words someone has spoken to you, or complaints you have heard?

Maybe it’s something big like worry or maybe it’s some smaller irritation like grumpy people in line. We don’t want our world filled with more worry, more grumpy people, more complaining; but that’s exactly what will happen, if that’s what we mostly notice.

If you are one of those mind over matter, don’t let your brain think about it types, you are lucky and have a powerful Jedi mind. I’m not like that. When I tell myself: I don’t need a cookie, I want the cookie. My pants won’t silence because I will them to. We all have thoughts that aren’t helpful to us and there are just going to be things in the world that bug us, and that’s OK. But these things don’t have to be the things that fill up our lives.

As Buddha said, “…with our thoughts we make our world.”

We have the ability to custom make our world, tailored just to our unique selves and the things that make us happy.

We shouldn’t waste it. We shouldn’t give fuel to anything unhelpful or negative. Instead we should make a purposeful effort to notice the things that make us happy and shape our worlds into what we want.

What do you want in see more of in your world?

What really makes you happy, what amuses you and makes you chuckle out loud?

What makes you smile?

It’s different for each of us and that’s why no one can tackle this task but ourselves. But whatever it is, search for it, seek it out with intention, find it in the world.  Make note of it and notice how much more of it you will begin to see.

It’s much better than some noisy pants.

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Assistant Ed: Kristina Peterson/Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Sara Furay

Sara Furay recently started a new little project/blog called Fresh Squeezed Words. It is a mission to live more intentionally. She has  an idea that maybe if we really tune into the words that we find inspiring, and intentionally bring those words to life through action, we might be able to get just a little more out of each day….a little more meaning, a little more joy, a little more fun, a little more life.


5 Responses to “What Do Corduroy Pants Have To Do with Buddha? ~ Sara Furay”

  1. Padma Kadag says:

    Dear Sara…The words of the Buddha are difficult to quote unless they originated in Buddhist canon and they have meaning which is not always so clear without commentary from a lineage master. Your above quote is not in any canon and more importantly your interpretation of the misquote is entirely not Buddhist. " What really makes you happy? What amuses you and makes you chuckle out loud?" It seems you would interpret Buddha's teaching to gain pleasure and all those things you think you deserve. Read a book by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, "What it Means to Not Be a Buddhist". A small little paperback. You will enjoy it, if not, I will pay for it myself.

  2. bharris says:

    This is a wonderful and clever discussion. My mantra is "don't believe everything you think." Same thing but I love the metaphor of the pants.

  3. Sara says:

    Hello Padma….thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can see from from your perspective, everything down to my title may seem like a misnomer.

    This piece came from a blog I write. The motivation for my blog came from the desire to put actions to the words that come my way that I find inspiring or thought provoking. These words found their way to my ears as I was seated on my mat at the start of a yoga class, and they made me think. Though from what you share, the words may have been "mis-referenced", the words, whosever they may be, really stuck with me. They mingled around with other thoughts I had been having, and I was motivated to take action.

    I'm not sure if the action I chose was anything near the author's original intent, but they propelled me to seek out more positive in the world (Well, positive in my eyes!). This article, was just a sharing of some of my musings as this decision came about.

    I'm not entirely sure how this might resonate with others, and it seems it may not at all mesh with Buddhism, but it has been a meaningful shift for me, and I am thankful these words found me….whoever they might be.

    And on a different note, I am interested in the literature you suggest and will check it out. Thanks! -Sara

  4. Sara says:

    Interesting take bharris! 🙂 The way my brain was behaving today, your mantra might have been more suitable!! It is true though, our brain is going to think all sorts of things, all sorts of thoughts sneak in. I guess it's what we do next that's important!

  5. Padma Kadag says:

    Thanks for the response Sara. The book I am referring to is actually.."What Makes You Not A Buddhist" by Dzongsar Khyentse. Again, I will pay for your copy if you do not enjoy it.