2020-02-19: Dharmette: Two Stories
1:24PM Jun 21, 2020
So, what's in my mind is to tell you two stories. And I think their stories have to do with having an absence of desires. Sometimes it's hard for us to appreciate the goodness, the value, the blessing of going through our parts of parts of our day moments in our day, the whole day with a minimum number of desires. Chances are that for most people, they probably go through the day with more desires than they need. And it's just nicer not to have so many sometimes. Especially if the desire Come with a lot of authority that can be really oppressive, that can kind of be stressful to have and into one of the functions of meditation is to have some qualitatively good experience of being alive. Where the desires have been put to rest, where for that those few moments, they're not there. And then to experience that that's a possibility. More than a possibility. I like to call it a potential since it seems bigger or larger call it potential that we have in US wonderful potential to have the mind the heart be addressed in some deep way. And doesn't mean we're never going to have a desire again, but to know the goodness of just being without the desire. So these two stories, maybe kind of one is from the ancient Buddhist tradition, where there was a variable wealthy person may think he was a merchant tiny kind of person who became very wealthy. And at some point, he decided to leave it all behind and become a monastic. And then he would bet a monastic he was off in the woods meditating. And he was living also in a monastic community, kind of in the, in the forest. And at some point, the you know, the other monks would think about him and realize he had a life of luxury and well and food and all kinds of things. And they kind of kind of assumed that he wasn't going to last as a monk you know, because it's kind of rough to live in the in the woods and live in arms and have no one took care of you. And so one day the other mugs heard this formerly well. The person exclaimed very loudly. Something like say, be happy, be so happy. And they looked at each other and they said, Oh your See, he's decided to go back to his life. He's decided that's where the you know, it's easy and stuff. So when he came out of his meditation, they asked him what happened there? And you're going back to your old by? No, no. You know when I had that old life, I have guards I had to have locks. I had to constantly be concerned and worried about robbers and people want to take advantage of me and it was like a stressful life. And now that I don't have anything, I can just live in the open here in the woods and not have to worry about the ebbs and people taking advantage of me and it just I'm just so happy to have nothing and have this easy go life. That's one story. The other story is A man who's a person person who's upset and maybe depressed or discouraged or, you know, life is hard and not getting what he wants and just a difficult life. You could you could fill in whatever difficulty you'd like. And been trying all kinds of things to find a way to be happy or be something nothing seems to work. So that finally goes to a very wise woman and says, probably she's deep in the woods. Beautiful elder and explains predict the predicament. And she said, okay, there's only one thing that's going to help you. You have to go and find the happiest person in all the land and ask that person for the person shirt.
So you can wear it or something. Okay, well, that seems like a pretty easy thing to do. It's all that that's all it takes. So this person spends years asking you who's the happiest person? Goes find that person and that person? No, I'm not the happiest person you met that person over the next mountain. Goes go search for that person that finds that person. No, no, no, it's, you know, not me, I'm not that happy. So that person. So it goes on for a few years search for the happiest person. And finally, everyone's pointing to one person, one person that's like, far away. Everyone's pointing in that direction. And so the person Okay, that's the person I'm so lucky. And everyone's that kind of consensus. This is the one this is the one and goes and finds this man who's deep in the deep far in the mountain someplace. And, and it just obvious you can even kind of feel it before even getting in the person's presence. But that especially in the present, this is a really happy person. I'm so lucky I'll finally you know, be able to ask for the shirt looks the person is actually the person has no shirt
person has no almost no possessions. And that's the lesson. What does it take to be the happiest person? Not that you have to give all your possessions away and be shirtless but, but this idea of desire and needing to fulfill our desires and get our desires met, so that we can be happy. It becomes a conditional desire. It desires with conditions. I have to get the best shirt. I'm sure that the you know probably the local department store has the shirt that to say evoke the idea of shirts now I'm sure that you could fantasize and think about just the right shirt that will do it for you. Or as the partner that's going to do it for you, or the job or their, you know, you know, something that's going to do it for you. This, this is what's going to make me happy. And that's all conditional happiness and, and conditional desire that if I get this, then I'll be happy. And the problem with that is that sometimes it works. And then it just, we're ready for the next desire. And I've been in situations where my desire was fulfilled, that goes good, got to do what I wanted to do. And then while I was doing it, I started thinking about the next desire, the next thing to do, the next thing that's going to do it and not really kind of settling into enjoying what I'm doing because there's always more Something else. So what's the happiness that's possible? That doesn't require desires that doesn't require the fulfillment of desires. Is there such a thing? Or is that just ridiculous? Is that impossible like is the only desire that really counts as the one that fulfills what we want? But is there a possibility of desire of happiness? That's from the lack of wanting that comes from the mind being freed or or settled or quiet quieted from the desires that are there, the one thing that's there and that's one of the things that meditation can teach us. One of the things we can learn from something like meditation is a little bit shocking for some people, is only through meditation do some people realize that They're there that they're desiring is incessant. It is simply that somehow almost every thought has some kind of desire built into it, wanting something. It's kind of exhausting. But meditation where you get quiet enough, really quiet, to be able to see what you're thinking and have space between your thinking and not be caught in the web of thinking, we begin having a feeling a sense of what it's like for the mind to be at ease, be contented, just in itself, without the need for any desire to be fulfilled. And that effect having desires interferes with that ease and that peacefulness and so then the person understands that desires interfere can interfere with a healthy state of mind. And so to disk Over this wonderful well being and happiness that can be available that comes from the absence of desire. So, I offered this little talk intentionally with a desire to challenge you, to challenge you to reflect on the role of desires in your life, to see how subtle they operate. And to not to feel bad about having desires, please don't do that. But instead, you look kind of behind them or under them or something next to them to see that there's another way of being alive. There is there is a way of being alive. That's desire less ness as desireless that's without desire. And there's a vitality In a vibrancy and clarity, peaceful, peace, peace that can be found in that space where there is no desire between your desires or after your desires or before your desires behind the desires or something. So May you be challenged to take a second and third
at this whole area of desires in your life. Thank you.
So I have one request for you in terms of that we're gonna do the cleaning period 15 minutes. And one thing I'd like to ask is, when they spent I walked down here today there was a different kind of litter on the sidewalks a little bit on our property, the gravel and sometimes a little bit in the gutter, too. It's nice if we can keep our little domain of the world kind of litter free. With someone like to be that litter gather Fiona Thank you, Fiona. We'll do it. Thank you. And then then has the let's see, so we'll see. So do we have four people to do the bathrooms? 1234 great. And if you haven't done the bathroom before Bonnie here knows how to do it. And then can we have four people to go outside 1234