Tag Archives: desire

To fill the bucket

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Grasping at sense objects (a match-factory)

When the mind is directed to the illusionary outside world of objects, it is prone to grasp at these objects as it has numberless concepts to distinguish between them. The amount of them is endless. The mind is conditioned by society, personal experience and education to grasp, reject or to be indifferent towards them. The more it is under the influence of desire, the more it grasps. It wants to fulfil this emptiness left behind by the veil that covers our happiness, our true self, with the fleeting happiness created by the objects of desire. As the very nature of the sense objects is impermanent, suffering is inherent. This happiness is never lasting and we will never get the bucket full, no matter how much we grasp at desirable objects. As soon as the object is acquired, the happiness that is obtained by it is already fading away, even though the object might still exist. The magic of the moment when it became “mine” quickly fades and it then turns into a weapon faced towards us. It can now cause innumerable sufferings. It might get stolen, lost, leave us or increase our pride, hence become fruitful soil for hatred, anger, jealousy or suffering of loss. And finally, this whole process leaves permanently new impressions on the veil of our true self, covering it ever more and distancing us ever more from the true happiness we are longing for so hardly… our true self.

The only way to clear that veil, this dust on the mirror, on our true nature, is to let go and to observe… in silence. It is only by discriminative knowledge that we can meet the army of defilements of the mind. Then, through understanding the real nature of those illusionary outside objects, the grasping will naturally take an end. The veil made out of all those impressions covering our true shining self will slowly dissolve and true happiness will naturally be revealed. It might go very quickly for some of us, but I can also take many years. But the very motivation of reading about all this, even if it might be difficult to understand at the beginning, is already the first step into a wonderful story realizable in this lifetime, if you are really decided to do so.

Love,

Shanti

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Q: Is self-realization so important?

M: Without it, you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going beyond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you. Either you remain forever hungry and thirsty, longing, searching, grabbing, holding, ever losing and and sorrowing, or go out wholeheartedly in search of the state of timeless perfection to which nothing can be added, from which nothing taken away. In it all desires and fears are absent, not because they were given up, but because they have lost their meaning.

— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Chapter 69 – p. 315-316

Is self-realization important?

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The world does not yield to changing. By its very nature it is painful and transient. See it as it is and divest yourself of all desire and fear. When the world does not hold and bind you, it becomes an abode of joy and beauty. You can be happy in the world only when you are free of it.

— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I am That – p. 504

Nobody will succeed in changing the world

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We know love as sensation, do we not? When we say we love, we know jealousy, we know fear, we know anxiety. When you say you love someone, all that is implied: envy, the desire to possess, the desire to own, to dominate, the fear of loss, and so on. All this we call love, and we do not know love without fear, without envy, without possession; we merely verbalize that state of love which is without fear, we call it impersonal, pure, divine, or God knows what else; but the fact is that we are jealous, we are dominating, possessive. We shall know that state of love only when jealousy, envy, possessiveness, domination, come to an end; and as long as we possess, we shall never love. . . . When do you think about the person whom you love? You think about her when she is gone, when she is away, when she has left you. . . . So, you miss the person whom you say you love only when you are disturbed, when you are in suffering; and as long as you possess that person, you do not have to think about that person, because in possession there is no disturbance. . . .

Thinking comes when you are disturbed and you are bound to be disturbed as long as your thinking is what you call love. Surely, love is not a thing of the mind; and because the things of the mind have filled our hearts, we have no love. The things of the mind are jealousy, envy, ambition, the desire to be somebody, to achieve success. These things of the mind fill your hearts, and then you say you love; but how can you love when you have all these confusing elements in you? When there is smoke, how can there be a pure flame?

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life

Love is not a thing of the mind

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We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.

 

And yet it is still just as naïve to suppose that members of the same human species, without having changed anything but their minds, should suddenly turn around and produce a perfect society, when they have never been able, in the past, to produce anything but imperfection and, at best, the barest shadow of justice.

 

I had at last become a true child of the modern world, completely tangled up in petty and useless concerns with myself, and almost incapable of even considering or understand anything that was really important to my own true interests.

 

What a strange thing! In filling myself, I had emptied myself. In grasping things, I had lost everything. In devouring pleasures and joys, I had found distress and anguish and fear.

— Thomas Merton – Several Quotes from “The Seven Storey Mountain

Slavery

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Morality as taught by way of rules is extremely powerful and valuable in the development of practice. It must be remembered that it, like all the techniques in meditation, is merely a tool to enable one to eventually get to that place of unselfishness where morality and wisdom flow naturally. In the West, there’s a myth that freedom means free expression–that to follow all desires wherever they take one is true freedom. In fact, as one serves the mind, one sees that following desires, attractions, repulsions is not at all freedom, but is a kind of bondage. A mind filled with desires and grasping inevitably entails great suffering. Freedom is not to be gained through the ability to perform certain external actions. True freedom is an inward state of being. Once it is attained, no situation in the world can bind one or limit one’s freedom. It is in this context that we must understand moral precepts and moral rules.
Normally, we spend our time simply reacting to stimuli in ways in which we have been conditioned. Often this conditioning is quite strong and brings about situations in which we act out our selfishness in ways that hurt or infringe upon those around us. By observing moral precepts we begin to set limits on how much we will follow our conditioned reactions and our desires. We stop identifying so strongly with them and say: “Wait, I’m going to stop a minute and simply watch the nature of this process,” rather than blindly follow all the desires and impulses that come. It is this stopping, observing, and not being caught in the web of reaction that will lead us to freedom.

— Jack Kornfield – Living Buddhist Masters – p. 302

What is the function of restraint in spiritual practice?

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I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over them all night
And cannot staunch my flow of tears.

— Ryokan

Caught up in the floating world and suffering