Tagged: spiritual practices

Question: Isn’t desire the origin of suffering?

“You said that attachment is the origin of suffering. The Buddha said that the root cause of suffering is desire. That is the second “Noble Truth” in Buddhism. There is a vast difference between desire and attachment. Do you think that you have the truth and Buddha does not?”
http://www.pbs.org/edens/thailand/buddhism.htm  

Thank you for your question.
No. Ahnanda does not preach truth. He only shares his experiences and realizations.
Take a look at the link below:

http://www.zen-buddhism.net/buddhist-principles/four-noble-truths.html
Here is a quote from that website: The cause of suffering is: “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”.

What happened then? Perhaps this website has the “wrong” interpretation? Millions of people believe in what you said: “Desire is the cause of suffering.” However, that belief even though held by millions is plain and simple nonsense.
This problem arises when we believe what the book says, the guru, the expert without looking at our own experience.
Buddha did not say that. It was interpreted like that.
What millions know is only the interpretation, the translation of someone who may have many degrees, who may be very proficient in many languages, but who does not have the capacity yet for inner observation. Perhaps that was a Buddhist follower, maybe not.

Through that nonsense of getting rid of desire, many “spiritual” people are denying life to their own experience through the ideal of DOING what the Buddha “said.”
Misinterpretation is the mother of all scriptures. Please quote me on that.

Perhaps if you take a test in “introduction to Buddhism” you may have to choose: “Desire is the root of all suffering” as the “right” answer. You may score 100% because of that answer, but know that your “right” answer in the “Office World,” is not so in Life.
We could have many desires. As many as we want. Suffering will kick in when we are attached to a particular desire. That means that we may need to attain/possess the object of that desire to feel fulfilled in Life.

Nevertheless, let me share a “noble truth” with you. Attachment is not the true source of suffering, but the ONE who is attached is…. Yes, the “I.”
To intellectually understand the above, is not easy. Therefore, let us stick with “attachment.” But, if “attachment” is hard to perceive, then “desire” is an easy answer. It will sell many books.  🙂 

So what do we take home from all this?
Any spiritual guru or any self-realized being including the “word of God,” are by nature, limited by language. In other words, to truly understand what they are trying to convey, we need to look at those words through the mirror of our own personal experience. If it does not make sense, then that is so for us at that moment. That is OK. Move on.

If it makes sense, then do not try to “practice it.” Allow for Life to work on you and go beyond the intellectual realization, by integrating THAT as part of you. Then, you know for you ARE that.   BEING is KNOWING.
But if you don’t understand and you are simply following what someone is telling you to practice, then my friend; you are not being honest with yourself, with your current state of BEING.

You may want to be like Buddha, but you ARE not there yet.
Do you think that practice will get you there?
It can only distract you from what you ARE… until you are AWARE.
Thus, “practice” is an entertainment in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

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What do I DO to “improve”?

Observe the Life of a public “famous” person, a “star.” Without a doubt, he has experienced ups and downs in his lifetime.
Beauty, fame, power, health, joy and wealth had different intensities throughout his life. There is no point in time where everything was all there, unchanged as if he had “arrived.”

There is no point in time where a person is the “same” all the way until death arrives. This is a fact.

A what point in Life, that person was “improving”? It just depends on what someone looks at. Some examples of “improving”:
Did he settle with one partner rather than many? Did she take up yoga and meditation as part of her life style? Did he sell 1 million copies of his best seller book? Was she inducted in the rich and famous hall of fame? Are those singular things “improvement”? It is relative. Life is bigger than any single improvement.

Life cannot be compartmentalized, cut in pieces, but we do it in our minds, so “improvement” happens as an ideal to strive for.
That ideal will create in turn the duality of “success and failure.” We are sold on that one. The fiction of success is as real as failure.

Observe the artificiality of all. That is how we live Life, believing that our mental creations, ideals are Life.

In Life, the word “improvement” does not exist. It is not needed as Life has its own movements, as shared before; the full range of experiences entails to go through the 2 sides of a duality.

How does it “work”? 

Observe any “positive” virtues or qualities in your favorite actress. The potential for the “negative” opposites is there as well. As a matter of fact, it will be experienced by that person at different times of her current existence or it was in another Life experience , or it will be in the future.
The full range of experiences needs to be experienced. BEING all of those.

That is how we have a variety of people in the world, experiencing a piece of the diversity of the ranges of experiences.
Our conditioning is ready to label and judge their experiences as “good or bad.” It does not matter. Our morality is worth diddly-squat in the way Life moves.

That is why it was shared that enjoyment of the experience is important. That quality of enjoyment is how we “become better.” (Those are not the most accurate words to use, but for the sake of being understood or misunderstood.)

That quality of enjoyment does not depend on what we have, what we earn, where we are in society or how we behave in society.
It all depends on how AWARE we are.
Greater conditioning, means less capacity for enjoyment.
Why?
Because we have learned all those sacred “go getter” keywords that we would like to “achieve” in Life to “make it worthwhile,” to find a “purpose.”
That is garbage.

Enjoy Life. Be open to the diversity of it. Expect the unexpected without judgment, without trying to “make sense.”
It is that sense the one that has been conditioned.
Live today, die tomorrow. No big deal. Have you enjoyed the ride?

Yes? Then there will be fulfillment. Nothing is missing.
If we try to “practice” any of the above, we will be fakes for we will try to “accomplish” that thing which looks good for ME… I’ve got to have it! (back into the conditioning of society.)
That “practice” could be made into a religion or some “system” to “help people” and to help MY pocket…but it is completely artificial. 

BEING changes through AWARENESS. Give yourself an ample space of solitude to observe the movie of Life. It is in that observation how we learn from the actors of Life and enjoy their unique parts. The plot will keep on changing, but as long as we OBSERVE it without judgment, we will enjoy it… and improve by DOING nothing. 🙂