2021-07-21-Greed (3 of 5) Mindfulness of Compulsion
8:24PM Jul 21, 2021
So we continue these morning talks on only greed. And maybe a little bit interesting that I think sometimes in the West, there's this thing called the seven deadly sins, I believe and, and greed is one of them. And in Buddhism, I don't think we really look upon anything as being a sin. But rather we look upon it as being damaging, being harmful. And some things are more hard, some things are harmful, and some things are not. And things that are harming, we want to stop doing. And so they're very different attitude about you know, that there isn't that kind of condemnation that might be there with idea of sin. But rather, there is a kind of compassion, care and understanding that there is no alternative to harming. And so when we're caught in desire, which what that that's kind of defined as greed. And what it means is that even beneficial desires, desires for something good and healthy. If we're caught in that desire, that Caithness is harmful, that Caithness is not healthy. And that's an important distinction because some people might have a kind of greed or being caught up in some very strict, very strongly needing to wanting to have something happen. And, and so kind of thing maybe should happen, they should have it. But is it necessary to be caught in it does improve the situation and be more likely to get it if we're caught in it. Or if we're caught up in it or tight or constricted around the desire? Are we somehow harming ourselves, both in the moment, but also in creating a disposition a habit of, of constriction of tightness of forcefulness in the desires that we have? Then one of the wonderful things to discover is how to have healthy desires, and have a quality of freedom have a quality of ease or peacefulness or simplicity with them. and discover maybe we take maybe we can act on these desires so much better. And more effectively, when we have this peacefulness with them lack of compulsion. And also if we have the lack of compulsion, then we have the opportunity to discover the freedom and the benefits of sacred ground or this openness, this ease this piece that, oddly enough, can give us oftentimes a sense that we don't need to fulfill our desires or all our desires. Even if it's a healthy desire, we know something better than not to sacrifice it, that better thing. So one of the things that can be better is this clear recognition. And not a forceful recognition, not a complicated recognition of things, not something that's excessively verbal, like we're pounding our thoughts out, like, you know, desire, desire and some strong way. But this kind of soft, open, quiet, almost natural bubbling up of knowing of clear recognition of what's and, and, and the in that clear recognition in that knowing there's the treasure, knowing we have compulsive desire is not in and of itself the treasure, but in it is found a treasure. So to turn the attention away from the desire, the object of the desire and recognize something to turn the attention around 360 degrees to be aware of, what is the quality, the characteristics of this clear, knowing, clear recognition? And is there some way of clearly knowing where it feels really good, it feels like this is my home, my ancestral land, this is the place of, of ease. And not to dismiss the world. Not to reject it in any kind of way. But to find this place from which to live in the world to know the world. And it takes a while to learn this. And some people it's perplexing. Maybe what I'm saying that there's a treasure in the knowing. So it takes a while to kind of experiment, look around. Experiment with different ways of knowing or being aware until the awareness fields is really nice. is to be aware and be present and awake.
So this idea of core in this central kind of way of practicing insight meditation, the idea is to turn away the attention turned the attention away from the object of desire to what it's like to be desiring. So, so when we have this kind of clear, clear enough knowing and mindfulness, then we can use that, to feel the experience of desiring. And sometimes it was only by doing that, that we begin to disengage ourselves from the compulsion. And so one of the things to feel in the desiring the feeling of desiring is what it feels like in the body to be desiring what it feels like in the body to be greedy, or compulsive. And sometimes there's a leaning forward, or a jumping up or just kind of a tension that's uplifting, like I really want this, there's a tightening sometimes around it. And to really feel the physical qualities, maybe the jaw Get set, relax, or the eyes get set them the object, we want this for sure. There's a constriction or tightness in the mind. Sometimes in the belly, there's like, a strong urge to have and to want. Sometimes, it's almost like when there's a strong desire, it was almost like we've been possessed, like everything just wants. There are some certain times when they get really famished, like hungry, that, that seems almost like there's this like, whole embodied physiological kind of, you know, Primal kind of desire, like I better get food. And, and it can be very compelling. And it's fascinating to practice with that. It's just so interesting to discover, you know, these powerful forces within us. And to sit in them and discover freedom in them or discover this clear recognition can always be there, to provide us a home of freedom. That allows us more clarity, to think wisely about what we're doing, to not act compulsively in ways that are harmful to herself or others. So to feel the physiologic physiology of compulsive desire, and one of the interesting ways of doing this, is to distinguish between a desire that has no compulsion and a desire that does. And what does that compulsion feel like? What's that extra thing, and to over time, become a kind of sore, have these physiological qualities characteristics of compulsion. Now, it isn't, so we can be compulsive better, but rather, the more familiar we are with the physical manifestations, desire expressions. So this compulsive desire, the easier it is to become free, that easier is to discover this clear awareness that knows it, rather than having that compulsive desire, infuse us with its authority. Because sometimes desires come with a lot of authority, and that if like this has to happen, now, this is important. And you know, and there might be authority based on fear, if I don't get it, there might be authority based on on you know, that, then everything will be okay, and I'll be successful. And it might be authority of pleasure, like I really need to have some pleasure in order to feel somehow fulfilled or satisfied. So what's that authority that comes with compulsion. So to feel the physiology of it, the physicalness of it, then then the, it's easier to kind of disengage from that sense of authority that can come with a desire, that ways commanding us as we drop into the body and feel the physicality of desire. Then we also become aware of the emotionality of desire, what emotions come into play, when we have desire, Is it fear? Is it aversion actually, sometimes desires? We want something to get away from something else. Is it? Is it
anticipation is it, we living in fantasies, and we, you know, so there's a kind of promise of eternal happiness or something? Is there a delight in the desire we have? And somehow we're caught in the delight of it that, that happiness have the promise of that happiness it might provide. So what's the emotions? What's the emotional tone and feeling of what's happening with it? Is it Desire, mostly an attempt to get away from something uncomfortable, or to desire mostly an attempt to get to something that we think is wonderful. And to notice that clearly what's motivating it emotionally feeling wise, motivational wise, is, again another step towards disentangling ourselves from it to another step towards having this clear recognition of what's happening and what's going on. And in that clear recognition and finding the freedom, find the ease. And then it's also possible that as we kind of settle in and relax and open to the desire, is to also become aware a little bit of the thought train, what are the beliefs they're operating, there can be beliefs, that this is how while they'll, you know, be safe, this is how I'll get, be happy in my life, if I have this pleasure, or if this desire is fulfilled, it might be that then people will like me, if I, or this is how people, you know, there's all kinds of beliefs that come into play. And we don't have to go analyzing that deeply. But as we settle down and quiet meditation, especially, then we start, it's kind of like, we starts, like, like we're looking out of a window and a stream of different inner events begin become clear and clear. At first might be that we shouldn't belabor cotton desire. And then it's start seeing the fizzy, this physicality of it. And then what comes through the window of awareness is we start seeing the emotionality that's connected to it, or the motivational quality of it. And then also, we might start seeing of various when we get quieter and quieter, this stream of thoughts related to it. And we might see that we're actually caught in a belief, we're caught in a dream of hope or expectation of fantasy. And we can feel the way we lean into and hold on to that fantasy or that dream or that, that we're living in. And that's part of the part of the desire as well. And, and each step along the way of all this, the physical, just the desire itself, how it feels in the body, how it feels emotionally, how what's going on in the mind, to practice simple, clear awareness. Some of us It means making very simple mental notes, tightness, anticipation, fantasy, to help us have that clear recognition. And then when the desire is no longer compulsive, we can come back to the breathing. Or if the clear recognition has become strong enough, the compulsion might be there, still, but we were not really involved in it anymore. And then it can be useful sometimes to simply welcome back in the healthy experience of breathing, and let breathing the healthiness or breathing fill the awareness. So didn't see any sense. There's no room for the compulsion anymore. The compulsion is not being fed by our involvement with it, and it has a chance to settle down. So for this next day, you might try when you find even the most subtle compulsive desire, like you really need to have something now when you find you know what, maybe even if it's a situation is appropriate, just close your eyes, sit down and really explore and track inside what is going on. If you turn the attention 180 degrees around from the object of desire to what's happening within you as as you're desiring. So thank you and look forward to continuing this series tomorrow.