2021-07-23-Greed (5 of 5) Non-Greed as Grace
2:54PM Jul 23, 2021
So we come to the last talk about greed and non greed. And I can imagine that it's a difficult topic. Partly because desire is so integral to being alive as a human being. And it can feel incomprehensible, to not have the assertiveness of desire, the compulsion, to desire to have things be different, to want something different, or can be seen inconceivable not to try to hold on to what is happening. And this idea of freedom from needing things to be different, and freedom from needing things to stay the same. It's kind of maybe sometimes doesn't compute, and is. But this is one of the things that as meditation deepens and gets quieter, we can start getting a feeling for a sense for this kind of clear recognition, clear awareness that's settled and open that needs nothing to be different, including doesn't need things to not change from how they are. So the word greed is a umbrella term. Some people don't relate to the word very strongly and, and don't identify that their impulses of desire have any connection to greed. But greed is an umbrella term for a lot of different kind of motivations in the same family, the family of greed, acquisitiveness, just wanting things is a form of greed, miserliness, nutshell, sharing, not being generous, holding on tight to what one has, is in this family of greed, strong biological lust, biological passion, that can feel so natural and, and something that we should, of course, this kind of give into an allow for it feels like freedom and feels like such a wonderful pleasure to just kind of lose ourselves. And perhaps it can also be a form of greed, if it if that we're being kind of compelled by it, and there's no freedom in it, we give ourselves over to this force, that in a sense, takes over rather than being free, and having a kind of ease and a kind of non compulsion in how we act and how we live in the world of pleasure even. So, in that Dharma time, they all one of the kind of goals of this practice of the past another practice of Buddhism is to realize a way of being or possibility of radical and complete and non greed, non compulsive desire. And, and it might be unimaginable that this is possible, but it is possible. And it's deeply satisfying, it's feels that there's that level of peace, well being, sense of freedom that comes from that is pretty phenomenal. And then some people, you know, anticipating or thinking about this goal, or worried that if I have no compulsive desire, no strong desire that pushes me know that, or no holding on tight to what I have, that somehow I won't be safe, somehow, life will become very difficult. And so it's maybe it might have some truth to it, it's a little bit hard to know how everybody lives, her life and the conditions, their challenges that they're living under. But certainly, we don't want anyone to be harmed by non greed. But non Greed has this wonderful quality, that the absence of greed is the absence of states of mind that it clips that deeper goodness within us. They obscure the deeper movements of generosity, of contentment, of love, have kind of a deep faith in the possibility of freedom and and this this capacity For
living a generous life, not because generosity, we feel compelled to be generous, not because it's. But rather that generosity is the kind of generosity of if a person has two hands, the generosity of the left hand, washing the right hand and the right hand washes the left hand that there's a kind of unself consciousness in the hands, there is kind of coming together to clearly there's need to be two distinct hands so they can do the work. But they become one, they become somehow not separate. And so in generosity, there's a coming together of the receive the giver and the receiver, and also the gift what's being given. And so it doesn't become something itself centered. It doesn't become something where the creates a kind of hierarchical distinction between me the giver who's special, and you who's the one who needs something, and you better be thankful for what you've done, what I've done for you, there's a kind of a softening and letting go of any of the barriers or clinging or holding on that, that gets in the way of a sense of mutuality, or a sense of this kind of simplicity. We're just the right and left hand coming together to do the work of cleaning. And so this simplicity and naturalness, almost of generosity that comes from some deeper place, that could not come from a place of greed. And part of this is that greed, a compulsive desire that in the Buddhist understanding psychology, it always comes together with clinging, with grasping at something. With compulsion, where there's no freedom, and clinging and grasping, are a form of suffering. There's a kind of tightening, constriction, a tension that comes along with clinging and grasping. So greed always comes with suffering, even if the promise of greed, the excitement of greed, acting on greed, might be pleasant, or has a promise of pleasure in it. The fantasies can be pleasant, there's something in and of itself and the greed, if we really pay attention carefully, that I bring suffering, and not only that it brings a kind of alienation. From this deeper goodness, deeper wellsprings of love and contentment and generosity, that lives waiting inside of us. That is not really us, isn't not really what we usually identify with me, myself and mine. It's more like, in Buddhist terms is like the Dharma that lives within us. And so it's not like exactly ours, but it's not apart from us. And so, greed always comes with clinging. And the freedom from greed comes from the freedom from clinging, the freedom from grasping, and that feels so good to be free of that tension. And then it gives rise to a whole other orientation of how to live in life, that maybe is really foreign, to the thrust of living that most people can live in this world. So it could even feel disorienting, or frightening or, or, you know, undesirable to have this lack of clinging, because so much of how we normally live is based on clinging and grasping. The other thing that greed always comes along with, it comes along with conceit, it comes along with an assertion of self of, you know, it's, it's for me, or I want this or I'm going to keep this for myself, and I'm getting, you know, I'm gonna grab it for me. And this self assertion into the world is also its form of suffering, is also a form of, of, of sometimes of asserting greed and desire in the world causes a lot of harm in the world around us as well. either directly we can see it, but also many of its indirect, that the ripple effect of our consumerism, for example, that's based on greed, the ripple effect of greed, the greed of capitalism, that that how it affects, you know, so much of the world. You know, as part of the suffering that greed kind of spreads out like a disease almost. And so, to, to learn, to discover again, through maybe minute meditation or some other means, that it's possible to live and live well and happily and successfully without the self assertion,
without, it's kind of like, I don't know what occurs to me, it's, it's kind of like having a bicycle, that maybe one of the breaks, or is kind of always kind of missmiss adjusted, it's always rubbing against the, the tire the wheel. And so you have to pedal harder and forcefully, in order to get the bicycle to roll. But, and that, that break, that's always against the, you know, against the wheel is little bit like this self that we always carry with us. And, and so the rubbing of that, and where's the all kinds of things out, but to undo the break, and allow some deeper wellsprings to come up that are defined by the absence of greed, the absence of hatred in the absence of delusion. And this is a beautiful way of living. And so the absence of grace comes absence of greed. Maybe for some people will feel like a kind of a grace, living a life of grace. And for other people's living a life of love or generosity, some people feels like living a life of freedom. And so it's well worth taking a deep look at this world of greed, how it works for us, take a deep look at the world of compulsive desires that drive us and move us along, both in our thoughts in terms of distracted thoughts and the momentum of thoughts in our actions, what we do, and also on how we speak. And, and, and what what is it like to let speaking thinking and acting, come from someplace where there's no assertion of self, no clinging, and no greed. And it's one of the great pleasures of life. So thank you very much. And so then, next week, we'll do the same kind of journey through the topic of hate, or hostility or aversion, depending how we translate the word. And so I look forward to that. And finally, I'd like to say that there's a kind of announcement about IMC. We have announced now a few times in different places that we were kind of scheduled to begin opening again on August 1, so it's coming up pretty soon in eight days or so. And I think it's probably unlikely that will open then. So next week will be some announcements and on the IMC webs web page, we'll post it next week to be some clarity but when we when we have clarity, but you know a little bit more information about our opening or not our opening. And so just if you live locally, and you have those thoughts, please keep you know, check check the website and so thank you very much.