2021-07-22-Greed (4 of 5) Composting Greed
3:46PM Jul 22, 2021
Welcome now to the fourth talk on greed. And in today's talk is going to be about composting greed or letting it become transformed. And it's not an original idea with me. Sometimes in Buddhism, where this kind of idea exists is sometimes seen as kind of more than advanced practice. And because it's best not to do it in a way that we get all too easily, the old habits of mind and habits of self are kind of come along and gets entangled in this practice of composting, greed. And that's why having a strong foundation in mindfulness. For practice, the basic practice is really important, something I tried to do a little bit yesterday. And, and to learn to have this, you know, really strong clear recognition, of, of desire of greed of wanting of anything, where there's a little bit of freedom, little bit of distancing, or opening or in relationship to what's going on. And this clear recognition when it's practiced with Vipassana, often involves a kind of clear and clear recognition of the details of experience. Rather than lumping it all together in one big, maybe amorphous idea of what something is, we start seeing the compound components of it, the components of the body, the bodily expressions, the emotional aspects of it, the motivational aspects of it, the cognitive aspects of it, as each of them becomes more in highlight and seen as distinct, then the Kobe Morpheus hole doesn't grab us as much, and we don't get so reactive to it or continent or greedy about it. And and we start seeing the underlying kind of conditionality of it the underlying, changing nature of it in a very powerful way. And so this is a core aspect of the pasta practice something tremendously valuable something to be, to love and to care for. And to, it's, it's so liberating. And sometimes it's a little bit like, you take what you want to take a really good look, and really recognize what a bicycle is. And so you look at the bicycle, and you get your tools out, and you begin taking apart all the pieces of the bicycle, and separating those and screwing everything and laying everything out in the ground. And so you can really see what a bicycle is, and all the parts of it. And that's fascinating to see that maybe, and but when you do so that when that thing that was the bicycle, no longer rolls, it no longer works as a bicycle. In order to really kind of let a bicycle be a bicycle, you don't take it apart, you have to let all the pieces be together. And we're kind of in harmony, and then allow it to roll. So sometimes that's true also with our inner life and with desires and greed. Sometimes, if we kind of do this deeper will kind of look of Vipassana, or if we get deeply concentrated and bypass kind of the the desires, the greed itself, then the rolling of the bicycle, the desire of greed has been interrupted. And sometimes that's like a tremendous safety to do that. To be caught and involved in greed can cause so much damage to ourselves and to others and it's very stressful, it's very alienating, it's disconnecting. It's sometimes lends itself to assertiveness and aggressiveness that objectifies others or doesn't really see others as human and bulldozes over people because our greed or desire is more important than even other people's welfare. It's so horrible what can happen in this world, in the in the, in the assault of people's desires and greed.
But if we learn how to have this clear recognition, learn how not to be involved in the greed not to be entangled with it. And then we have the opportunity to compost it. And what I mean by that is to is to not be caught in it, but also not interrupted, not interfere with it not not to go deeply analytical not get concentrated, so that it kind of changes the inner kind of land. Escape so dramatically. It's not there, but rather to let the greed be, allow it to be there. But to and one way to allow it to be there that safe that kind of protects us from getting caught up in its thoughts, ideas, its goals is to feel it in the body. And that's why I call it composting in the body. And, and doing do do, as I said before, this is an advanced practice. But sometimes it's not necessarily for only kind of more well, matured practitioners, it's also for people who have no other option because the greed is so strong, that, you know, it's going to take over if we don't do something, and maybe there's no access to, you know, this deeper mindfulness that I talked about yesterday. And so instead, just coming back to the body, feeling in the body, grounding in the body, over and over again, and letting it kind of move through in an embodied way and feel the momentum, feel the move, feel the urges. And by grounding in the body, I does a number of things. One thing is that it takes us away from the thoughts, the ideas, the Ask the the hopes that exists in the mind, that are often kind of what's compelling it, they're feeding it, it also takes it a little bit away from the emotions just in and of itself. It allows whatever emotions are connected to the greed, that to be grounded in the physical body here, it's kind of like has a root, it's in the present moment, the body is always present. Also, we start feeling in the body, feeling the sensations, the impulses of greed in the body, the body is kind of like a large, the the, as we meditate with our body, the body's in some ways bigger than we think of as our body, it's kind of like the slots of space in the body. And so to allow the momentum of greed and desire, to course through the body kind of keep opening space to it, allowing it to be there. And, and this, what I'm talking about now is best done in meditation, where you're committed to not moving, not acting on it, you sit there and just let the greed coursing through your body, the feeling sensations of it. And when you get out of the way of it this way, but also don't enact it, don't get involved in it, then there's a composting as a transform, there's a change that goes on, that is kind of akin to, I think of it as akin to the way the body can be self healing at times. That you know, if you sometimes when we get sick, sometimes if we injure ourselves, if we allow for the right conditions, keep a wound clean, or have a break arm have a cast on and have things the bones lined up again, then the body has amazing way to find its way to health, and to healing.
And, and so same thing with emotions and desires and greed. Greed is little bit like being sick, and illness. And the system knows how to move to help if we create the right conditions for it. Now, if we, and one of the right conditions is to not enact it, not be compelled by it to do anything, but also not to push it away or to, to not allow it to move through and course through our body. And then as we do so it's kind of like we get out of the way and allow it to be here, then something begins to shift and change sometimes just simply settles. Sometimes it changes into something a little bit different. And, and there's like layers in our inner life, then we go through those layers. So for example, greed itself, in some circumstances, might be a symptom of something deeper that's going on inside of us. And so as we do this composting, this transforming, allowing it to be there, that deeper thing begins to show itself, that deeper thing begins to kind of bubble up as well. And that's much more important. So for example, some greed, for example, might be a symptom of fear that we're really afraid of something and, and we really want something because we think that's going to make us safe. Or we might have really strong lust, Stephens sexual lust, but we look underneath it. There's a deep loneliness, and that deep loneliness is looking desperately for something that we think is going to fill it take care of it. That's really impact with powerful and a kind of real assurance that we're not alone that someone connects to us. And, and so sexual engagement sometimes is the ticket, we think, and, and to feel that deep the fear that might be there, or their loneliness that might be underneath greed, or the anger that might be underneath that. There's sometimes a strong anger that propels us to want to do something, maybe something harmful, even. And, or there might as we kind of go through, we go through these layers. And so for example, if there's fear, there might be underneath that fear, a sense of vulnerability or tenderness, there might be a sense of hurt, that we have, or a deeper kind of quiet or fear, that is, doesn't really have an object of the fear, but just kind of exists there more existentially. And as we go through and transform and allow these and allow these values, then the, the transformation, the composting begins happening, the movement towards health. But it, you know, often requires going through these layers and discovering here. And this idea that greed is just a surface manifestation of something, a symptom in a sense. And so don't act on the symptom don't kill, the symptom is just a messenger. But to kind of sit quietly allow it. So we can hear more deeply see more deeply, what's really going on inside of us. So we can connect more deeply or allow the more deeper movements and revelations what's really happening here show itself. And so there's a composting going on a transformation going on. And occasionally, that transformation, like with some, like desire and greed, is that greed is a kind of wanting something, just like compassion is, in Buddhism, faith is a kind of desire for freedom. And so as we get deeper and deeper down, we start finding that part of the transformation might be the discovery of a, of a appropriate desire, beautiful diet, healthy desires, that are really there at the base, but we've ever figured out how to express it or live it or trust it. So quickly, the self and kind of the ego, ego comes into play that selfishness comes into play, or the, or the care of protecting ourselves or the anxiety around things, or the all the cultural beliefs we have around self and others come into play, that obscures the deep, beautiful kind of desires, that compassion is or the movement towards liberation might be. So to compost, and, and how I know to compost when things are strong, is just keep returning to the body. And, and when they're when,
like greed is strong, then it might keep coming back and might have thoughts as part of it, we just allow all of it just to be there. But it's kind of like, come back, be here with it. And then be here with it. And just keep coming back, keep coming back is clunky, you're turning over the compost pile, so that it could keep burning properly come decomposing, you're turning yourself over beers coming back, feeling the body, feeling the body, feeling the body. And if you keep doing that, that is a protection against getting involved and getting involved in the thoughts, the ideas, getting involved in the desires. Just don't get involved. Stay here, stay here. And if what I said today doesn't make sense to you, or is confusing, then maybe just ignore what I said. Maybe this is a kind of I said it's a little bit of an advanced practice. And maybe it'll become clear as you trust the basic practice of mindfulness. It's so powerful, so effective, so useful and meaningful, trust it. And when the time comes, you might get some sense of what I'm talking about when I talk about composting. So thank you very much.