2022-10-12 Conditioned Consciousness (3 of 5) Craving and Aspiration
3:43AM Oct 13, 2022
So, come to the third talk. That's the series called conditioned consciousness. And the idea that our, the way that we perceive or experience or construct, the sense of consciousness is something that is conditioned, it's constructed or controlled, or influenced by all kinds of other factors and, and in our minds and in our hearts and in our life. And that, as we start understanding some of these conditions, some of these influences for how we put together the idea of consciousness, that we can appreciate how much some some conditions create a consciousness, which doesn't feel so good. And others help produce one that feels wonderful. And then, so today, I want to talk about the range or the distinction between craving and aspiring. Craving is considered to be a form of suffering in Buddhism, it's a craving, it has a compulsion to it, that kind of, kind of, if it's strong, has us by the throat, or by the nose, pulling us around. And we're not very free, the only freedom we can find with intense compulsion, there's two kinds of freedoms you can find. But with a, with a craving itself, you there can be a sense of freedom when we give into it. But it's kind of just going, going along giving into attachment, so it has free rein, it's not a real freedom. The second kind of freedom we can discover is, we can have craving, but we don't succumb to a young give into it, we have the ability to see that we're craving and not pick it up and not get involved. Enough so that we have a broader sense of awareness of presence of attention to it. And part of the effect of craving, it tends to like other tensions, it tends to narrow the range of, of consciousness, attention tends to be focused, though, on the object of the craving. And so it can be a laser focus, it could be a narrowing of the field, it can be, things get smaller and tight. And kind of both tense and agitated, sometimes hot, sometimes there's a feeling of pressure that comes with craving. like kind of like it's saying, it has to be now. And, and, but craving is a real, relatively shallow, as powerful as it can be, is a kind of a shallow, segment or Level Layer of the mind. That keeps us somehow alienated from ourselves disconnected, partly because we're constantly looking outside for the object of craving. And, and so we can't settle back into ourselves. As we settle back and relax and really find a place to rest inside. Where we're free of craving for you that compulsion, agitation contraction. With time we can start discovering that there are wellsprings of desire of wishes of aspiration that arise from in that it can occur without any compulsion. And that those because they're kind of a wellspring, their wells up, the influence they have on our sense of awareness is to support it is to boy it. So almost like a can, if you're a practitioner, know something about being present and mindful, the underlying welling up of this aspiration, to be free to be compassionate to be, you know, whatever it is, that comes from the depth of who we are, that it almost like it spreads and expands the sense of consciousness, the sense of awareness, rather than contracts, it narrows it, when this aspiration has to be expectation free. It has to be
free of a certain kind of conceit, all of which kind of tighten up again and narrow the scope. an aspiration, that a wish that is not compulsive, doesn't need to be fulfilled even. It's just like this is what the Hearts wishes. And if it's possible, great, if not, they just go rises and like the exhale, it just kind of can just flow out. And you don't necessarily lose aspirations like that. If they don't get fulfilled or don't get acted on any more that you lose your exhales, just because you exhaled once, another exhale will come, and the aspiration bits, sincere, deep aspiration, it'll be there and calm as well. And, and so part of the advantage of sitting in meditation, being mindful, and really kind of learning to settle below the layers of agitation, layers of tension, layers of craving, is to come to a place where we are, have these deeper wellsprings of compulsive free desires compel expectation free, with expert decision doesn't have a come with sense of need, this needs to happen. And so this idea of noticing the difference between craving and aspiration is a very significant exercise. I think some people don't have much sense of what an aspiration is, and the way I'm talking about, maybe they've never kind of been pointed to it. And for me, I was never that grew up without ever having any sense of what that might be. But it was through doing this Buddhist practice, that I came to appreciate that there's this kind of, I call it sometimes by logical biological drive, sometimes a drive by biological kind of desire. Because it didn't seem to be connected to the ordinary cognitions of the mind, the ordinary kind of surface thinking and concerns, or the surface emotions, they seem to be kind of more built into kind of the depth of the whole operating system here. And so biological, I basically use that word in the sense that, it it you know, it's deeper than then cognition can thinking and those things this kind of aspiration can feed into our cognitions, our desires, our dreams, or imaginations are all kinds of things. And, and that can really enrich a person's life phenomenally to come from this place. So to begin, I'm noticing a difference between craving, aspiration, and noticing the different way in which it affects you physically, emotionally, and conscious wise, how does it switch and change the sense of being aware, depending on which one you're operating from? One of the things that I believe is often the case is that with craving, there's often a feeling of discontent, that craving can often come from a sense of lack. And so that sense of lack, we're trying to crave to fill it return to assuage it, we're trying to soothe ourselves or distract ourselves or entertain ourselves. So we don't have to feel the pain of the felt sense of lack emptiness that we might have. In with aspiration, there's, there's a contentment, there's a sense of no lack of sense of fullness. Because we've learned to take whatever lack discontent there might be, and bring our attention right into it, and kind of massage it from the inside out, turn it inside out, and fill it with something that's profound. Fill it with ourselves, fill it with awareness, fill it so that the tension of lack the tension inherent in in this kind of feeling of acuity or pain or loneliness, begins to relax and soften begins to settle in and so I associate craving with discontent and aspiration with contentment.
And the and the funny thing about discontent is that the when we're discontented, we're kind of the mind is I have content full. This content churns up thoughts and ideas and desires and aversions and projections and fantasies and all kinds of things. So discontent actually knows kind of busy, agitated mind. So it's content, discontent is mind that's content full. Contentment, on the other hand, allows for settling and quieting of the mind and the heart. And in a certain kind of way, contentment is content free. There's space and room for inputs for things to arise and be there and feel deeper, more deeply what's going on in this world. Craving tends to create very little room because it's so content full of all kinds of churning stuff. Contentment tends to be content free, in that there's room for us to feel not only the world be aware of the world in a significant way, but also to be aware of ourselves. And be aware of really what's going on, we can be able to be be sensitive enough to start living from and feeling something is more the depth of who we are the fullness of who we are. Rather than then, this funny thing of lack, which tends to be, yes, their sense of lack that feels empty, but then becomes kind of Contentful or something. So hopefully, this word play within, you know, lack and fullness and Contentful and content free is points you to something that's possible that allows you to begin seeing more clearly. The difference between a world live from craving and a world live from from aspiration. And so may aspiration, be your your guiding light that support you in living with desires in a way that's phenomenally free. Compulsive free. So thank you very much and I look forward to being here again with you tomorrow.