What Do I Really Want?

An exploration of what I really want.

Guidelines

My guidelines for myself is that anything is allowed, no matter how petty, crude and small minded it may seem. Nothing is excluded. And when I find something I seem to want, I will explore what it is I really want inside of that. What do I think it will bring me? If it is a strategy for getting something else, what do I hope it will get me?

What do I really want?

What is it I really want?

First the wants closer to my public, surface, personality…

I want a peaceful life. (I see that the only way to find peace is in how I experience and relate to what is happening, not in how the external situations are b/c they will always change.)

I want a meaningful life. (Again, this can be independent of external situations.)

I want a sense of coming home, of deeply coming home. (I know from experience that this can happen right here, independent of where I physically am.)

I want freedom from suffering. (That too can happen independent of external circumstances.)

And if I go to the other wants, I see…

I want money. (As a strategy to bring me freedom from suffering and happiness.)

I want sex. (Really, what I want is a sense of connection and intimacy. I also want joy, ecstacy and bliss, and I want those because I want happiness and freedom from suffering.)

I want fame, I want to be looked up to. (This will bring me a sense of being OK, which is what I really want.)

I want revenge. (I want revenge because I think it will bring me a sense of peace and maybe joy, which is what I really want.)

I want to live fully and in a juicy way. (I want intimacy with life, a sense of fullness, richness, even completeness.)

I want to die, sometimes. (I think it will bring me peace, rest, relief from stress and suffering.)

I want status in society. (This may bring me a sense of accomplishment and worthiness, which in turn may bring me peace, freedom from suffering, joy, sense of connection, sense of belonging.)

I want to be right. (In the hope that it will bring me safety, which in turn may bring me freedom from suffering.)

I want knowledge. (It may bring me a sense of accomplishment, which in turn may give me a sense of peace. It may give me a sense of understanding, which gives safety, which gives freedom from suffering. It may bring a sense of intimacy and connection with myself and the rest of the world. It may give me respect, which in turn may give me a sense of safety and freedom from suffering, and also a sense of connection and intimacy with myself and others.)

I want peace. (Because it may give me happiness and freedom from suffering.)

I want a sense of being OK. (Because it may give me happiness and freedom from suffering.)

I want a sense of connection and intimacy. (Because it may give me happiness and freedom from suffering.)

I want a sense of deeply being home. (Because it may give me happiness and freedom from suffering.)

Wanting happiness and freedom from suffering

So I see, through sincere inquiry, that any of these conventional, mundane, egoic, apparently crude wants lead to the Buddha’s insights: what I really want is happiness, and freedom from suffering. And if awakening is the only thing that really will get me that, then that is what I want.

Peeling off the layers of wants, I end up with wanting happiness and freedom from suffering. And the strategies for getting that is all of the above, some unexamined and from confusion (which I see when I expore them this way, and some from more clarity (can always go further there).

Innocence

I also see what Byron Katie says, that it is all innocense. We are all innocent. Our wants, no matter how crude they may seem, are innocent. Confused maybe, but innocent.

And I see how this all relates to Nonviolent Communication, in particular the differentiation between needs (what I really want, when I peel off the layers), and the strategies to meet those needs (which may be confused or come from more clarity).

Summary

Guidelines…

  1. Write down what you really want, as it comes up. Don’t sensor anything. Anything is allowed.
  2. For each of these wants, explore what it is you hope to get from it. What is it a strategy for getting? And what you hope to get from that? Peel off the layers until what is left is utterly simple, until it is not anymore a strategy for getting something else.

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