2020-07-15 Be, See, Free, We (3 of 10) The Desireless Door of Liberation
2:53PM Jul 15, 2020
So, the topic for today is the second door of liberation. The wishless, the having no desirelessness, the sometimes it's called aimless. I like the word wishless. And this is a very profound part of human life, very important part. Because human beings should probably be called human desirelings. Because desire is such a huge part of human life and it's built in and maybe it's fair to say it's inherent to human life. Without desire, nothing would happen. We would just sit and do nothing. We'd be, I don't know a rock or something. Or people really have no desires, for sometimes that's a definition of some occasionally, part of someone who is depressed. To want to eat when you're hungry is a desire. To want to pee when your bladders full is a desire. There's you know all kinds of desires that are operating all the time. And some desires get us selves in big trouble, some desires come with are unhealthy or harmful to others. Some desires are harmful to ourselves. Some desires come with such pressure and constriction and demand and addiction, that just having the desires is really painful.
I discovered this many years ago when I was young, I noticed that I used to love going into bookstores when there were such things easily available. And I noticed that I would be exhausted after I left bookstores and looking into it a little bit more, I discovered was because I never hardly ever bought anything, I didn't have any money. But I'd go down to bookstore shelves, I want that I want that I want that, I just wanted everything and it was the incessant desire that was exhausting. I could kind of be reaching forward, holding on to, looking for the next thing and kind of the movement of you know, just kind of desire was kind of a stress.
And so to sit in meditation, we begin discovering the stress of desires. Not all desires are stressful, but we can start noticing that some of the tension we carry, some of the stress we have, some of the pressure, some of the exhaustion we have, is a partly born from the the ways in which we relate to desire, the ways in which we participate in them or pick them up or lean into them or hold on to them. And part of this movement towards becoming calm or settled in meditation is a movement of releasing the pressure around desires. The holding and the needing them, the authority, the command that they sometimes carry. And it's not an anti-desire meditation, but it is a freedom from all that extra weight, all that extra participation we have with the desires.
And so as I said, there are two very general categories of desires, the desires that can arise with no charge at all, no pressure at all. And desires that arise with charge and pressure. And even healthy desires can arise with a lot of pressure and a lot of tension, burden, a lot of self centeredness a lot of measuring ourselves and expecting things of ourselves and beliefs, extra beliefs that we carry that we hold on to and opinions about desires about what we want to have or negative desires and desires not to have and not wanting, even healthy ones.
So just simply justifying a desire, because it's appropriate and healthy, sometimes causes people to overlook the unnecessary cost of how they participate in that desire. And meditation is not necessarily anti-desire. It is a freedom from the all that extra costs, the ways that we go into debt because of our desire, the ways in which we are burdened by it, the ways in which we lose our freedom from our desires. And so in meditation, to begin tuning into that stress and tension and charge that lead leaning forward it has with desire.
I saw this first when many years ago and one of my first retreats in Thailand we had to walk from the meditation hall down this hill, kind of in the kind of inner in the jungle area but down a hill road dirt road to some other place where we're going to have lunch. And there was the main meal of the day. There was no food in the evening and very light breakfast. So you know, and I was young and quite hungry. And I started noticing that coming out of meditation, I was pretty grounded, centered in myself. And then as I walked down that road to where the food was, I could feel that my somehow my center of gravity, my center of where my attention was, was ahead of myself. I was leaning forward, wanting the lunch, planning it, thinking about it, and I kind of was outside of my body almost. And then I would pull back and get myself grounded again. And then the desires and thoughts around that desires would come up again, I'd be leaning forward, and I would come back and there's a seesaw going on. It was quite fascinating to see. So as we learn not to have this charged with desire, desire starts beat themselves can start abating because we're starting to feel a place of contentment and peace, something that we can have a desire for. But it's not a desire with a charge, you just feel this is good. This is coming home. This is a place of harmony, of non resistance. This is a place of non fixation. This is a place where what's healthy within me can flow and move through me. And this idea of the movement towards releasing desires, releasing the charge of desire, the attachment to it as a movement towards hill can make it a lot easier to let go of that charge and that attachment to desires. As we have this deeper ease and contentment, then we also have more wisdom about whether we should act on a desire or not. But act on the desire, sometimes with lots of energy, but without that charge or contraction or tension that we had before. In some ways, if we're appropriate desires, like compassion and care and all kinds of things, it can actually be easier to act on a desire when there's freedom in relationship to it. And it's more likely if you have freedom, real healthy freedom within you'll see and feel when your relationship to a desire is unhealthy when there's greed, hatred and delusion as part of it or some kind of attachment to it.
And so this movement towards learning to have to be free, free of our desires, there still might be desires with free of them, of needing them or acting on them, creates a very still quiet mind that allows something deeper and deeper to release. And the analogy I use for this is imagine a big bowl. And when I took my young kids to these science museums, sometimes he had a very big six foot bowls and he'd stand up on a little bench or something to look into it. And the kids would drop like marbles into it. And there was a hole at the bottom of the bowl. And the marbles would just go spin and go around and knock each other a little bit and just moved all kinds of fun ways. It's fun to watch them. Every once in a while, the marbles would cross come down to the bottom, but they had so much momentum that crossover and not fall into the hole, until the momentum lessened enough, and they started staying more and more near the bottom of the bowl. And then at some point they'd be slow enough. When they came to the hole, they would drop through, kind of like into a little cup, like with a golf, you know, golf ball, you know, you hit the ball into the hole in golf, you know, goes into falls into the cup.
And so when there's the momentum of desire and wanting is not operating so much, and it gets quieter and quieter, less and less momentum, to a place where there's almost like we're able to breathe, be present. Everything is functioning in a healthy way. But it's clear that that peace and coolness of the mind and heart where there's no inclination, no movement of desire whatsoever, no charge whatsoever. The momentum desires come to still then we fall into that little cup, where something can rest we can rest in a deep, deep way.
And, but it's not really a cup like in golf because it's kind of like it's hard to talk about it but it's kind of like maybe if you fall into the cup, the cup has no bottom and no sides and no top. There's no there's nothing, no definition there. There's no limitation there. There's nothing that holds it. In this beautiful state where desires are let go of and nothing is holding anything is a profound experience of liberation and freedom. And so this door of the wishless is one of the doors to this experience of deep release. And not everyone will go through the door of desirelessness, but this is one of the movements as meditation gets stronger and deeper and more healthy, we feel the beautiful health of being so settled and peaceful, that that is one of the doors that can open and, and we let go deeply.
But even way short of this being a door to liberation for people, that the learning how to shift and change your desires and let go of the unhealthy desires and to learn how to be with challenges is one of the without desire. Without it needing, to be different is a stepping stone to greater freedom. Not that we have to have a policy of accepting difficulties and discomforts. But to learn the ability, maybe in meditation, to be with discomfort and have no desires in relationship to it can be a very profound movement towards health and spiritual health.
So to study a desire and understand desire and understand these different qualities of desire, and to put this you know, you might over the next 24 hours, look at the desires you have, talk to friends about desires, you have to see if you can tease apart the simplicity of a desire versus the charge that's added to it. And maybe you can kind of separate those and let go the charge and, and then decide where the desire is appropriate or not to have.
So, thank you, and and then tomorrow, we'll do the third door of liberation. Thank you.