Desire is fun. It adds zest and juiciness to life. And it is obviously essential for the survival of the species and of us as individuals. (Ordinary experience, evolutionary psychology.)
I can also find that which desire happens within and as, and is “free” of desire in that sense. Through headless experiments, shikantaza, the Big Mind process, or by exploring the sense fields, I find that desire is the play of awakeness itself. When I discover this, it becomes the context for any other exploration of desire.
I can inquire into the shoulds around desire. I should get the object of my desire. I shouldn’t desire [whatever it is]. Through finding what is more honest for me than the should, the should is softened or released out of the desire. There is more space, and there is freedom to relate to it in a more wise and kind way. (The Work.)
I can find the needs behind the desire, and explore other strategies to fulfill those needs. Separating out my needs and strategies gives me more clarity and room to play with a range of strategies. (NVC.)
I can find the more basic desire, following the chain back to what is most essential and simple. What do I want to get out of the desire (or getting the object of the desire)? What do I want to get out of that? And so on, back to the most simple desire. It is good to be aware of this, and it also helps me see that it is innocent. (This inquiry is from Adyashanti. Process Work is another way to unfold what is behind the desire.)
And as always, this only gets meaningful when it is applied to specifics in my own life, to my own desire, whether it is a desire for happiness, fulfillment, meaning, service, another person, a place, sex, food, security or something else.
Often, it is appropriate to just go with the desire, to live from it without too much reflection. Other times, it can be helpful to explore desire in one or all of these ways, especially if the desire seems problematic one way or another.
For instance, I may not get what I desire, or go about getting it in a way that creates a sense of unease for myself or others, or not quite know what I desire, or how to go about getting what I desire. These explorations helps straightening out the knotted strands.
Trigger: A book on Christian mysticism talking about desirelessness as a goal. For me, desire is something I wouldn’t want to be without. And at the same time, it is very helpful to notice that what I am is already “free” of desire. It is that which desire happens within and as. And it is often helpful to clarify desire, to find what it is really a desire for (usually something simple and innocent), to separate out my needs and strategies, and to find what is more honest for me than my shoulds around desires.
- essential for survival of species/individual + adds zest, juiciness to life
- also, notice absence of desire – awareness itself
- and inquire into, release shoulds out of desire (identification w. stories) + find what needs try to fulfill and explore other strategies + find most basic desire, follow the chain back (good to notice)
- inquire into shoulds/beliefs, release shoulds out of desire (identification w. stories)
- find needs try to fulfill and explore other strategies
- find more basic desire, follow the chain back (good to notice, be aware of, see its innocence)
- whatever the desire is for (happiness, fulfillment, meaning, service, another person, sex, food, security etc.)
Desire is obviously essential for the survival of the species and of us as individuals. And it adds zest and juiciness to life.
I can also find that which desire happens within and as, and is “free” of desire in that sense. Through headless experiments, shikantaza, the Big Mind process, or by exploring the sense field, I find that desire is the play of awakeness itself.
And perhaps most interesting, I can inquire into desire in different ways.