Who Desires?

Dear Sumitta,

A desire is the thought, “I want this or that.” There can be no desire without the desirer.There can be no desirer without the thought “I.” The thought “I” is the mind.Ever wonder why we don’t desire when we dream? There is no thought in the dream state.

So how do we create a desireless state in the awaken state? Destroy the mind, or rather, the I-thought. You can live very peacefully without it as the Buddha has shown.How?

The mind has an Achille’s heel. A chink in it’s armor. It really doesn’t exist.It just appears to exist.

And, since it doesn’t exist it would naturally be impossible for it to see itself.

So, when you force the mind to seek itself say, with the question,”Who am I?” it simply vanishes. and once the mind vanishes….so does the “I” that you had taken yourself to be. and with no “I”…who can possibly desire?

What appears when the mind vanishes?

Nirvana.

Dear Dhamma Follower,

We must be clear with our syntax. We will always have preference. We may prefer vanilla over chocolate. This is not a desire. We have physical hunger, this is not a desire in the sense of hate, greed and delusion. Our desires in the Buddhist context, is a direct relationship with the world. Our clinging, aversion and ignorance of the world and people around us.

The mind has a process in Buddhism. Conscious sense-awareness (vinnana), the creation of name and form (nama-rupa), the six senses (salayatana), our contact and cognition of those forms (phassa), our feelings, opinions and relationships with those forms (vedana), our cravings (tanha), our clinging (upadana), and the arising of our conditioned realities (bhava).

Through meditation we investigate our vedana. With understanding and wisdom this can reduce our cravings and our clinging. With the diminishing of cravings and clingings, we reduce our the arising of the sense of self. We no longer have the concept of mine, self and I.

Even with children, the first thing that is learn is “mine” and “yours.” This is the conditioning of arising of the concept of self. In our ignorance we continue our rationalizations of shallow definitions of processes into static and limited nouns.

It is not about trying to reach nirvanna as a goal. Nirvana is a quality of being. As we come closer to Vesak, we must remember the full story of the Buddha. At one point, he did try to crush the mind with mind, to use effort and will to suppress dukkha. He put his tongue to the roof of his mouth and clinched teeth beating his own mind until he was exhausted.

It was not through trying, but by being that Nirvanna was attained.

The question is, how many of us are truly dedicating to the practice, to the life, to the dhamma?

With metta,

J Sumitta Hudson

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Categories: Buddha, Dharma, Ethics, Four Noble Truths, Kharma, Lifestyle, Mahayana, Meditation, New Age, Noble Eightfold Path, Philosophy, Theravada, Tibet, Virajana

Author:Sumitta

Joshua Hudson is a license clinical social worker with post graduate certificates in mental health. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he has worked as an healthcare advocate for the Department of Veteran Affairs, Director of Psychological Health for the Air Force, in-patient counselor for inpatient adolescents, child and family therapist; and currently is a Prevention Interventionist for the Air Force creating programs to reduce interpersonal and self-directed violence (e.g. Sexual assault, suicide, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, etc.) in the military Joshua spent twenty years in the Navy as a combat photojournalist and public affairs officers. He was a senior account executive for a marketing company and managing editor for various national publications. He continues to write on myriad issues from engaged living and resiliency to spirituality and meaning making. He is also an organized minister by the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center and International Order of Buddhist Ministers. Currently, he lives in Bury St. Edmunds in the United Kingdom with his daughter; but still keeps residence in Pittsburgh.

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