When addressing desire as a resistance to practice it is important first to realize that desire itself is not bad. Desire is a natural survival mechanism. Desire is what gets us to eat, to sleep, to find shelter; it gets us doing what we need to do to survive and thrive. It is desire that fuels our passions, moves us to be creative, and to find pleasure in life.
Desire becomes a problem when it becomes wanting and shifts us out the present moment. If we are acting without presence of mind it’s easier to get caught by wanting and become lost in a never ending cycle of un-satisfaction. Take notice when “if/only” thinking, arises, like: “If only I made X amount of money, then I would be successful.”, "If only I wasn't sick, then I would be happy." such thinking is where wanting or clinging often arises. Most of our ideas of what we need or want in order to be happy are wrong. This is because these “solutions” are almost always external. Happiness or contentment is never dependent on external factors. If we are shifting our attention outward for satisfaction, we are actually pushing ourselves away from the very thing that can provide the peace and contentment that we are seeking.
A blog by Ven. Do'an Prajna and Lotus Heart Zen sangha members.
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