"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

September 19, 2011

How Do We Treat Desire? Friend? Enemy? Teacher?

"We can treat desire the way we treat everything else in meditation. This means accepting it as it is, not pushing it away and not holding on to it. In Eros the Bittersweet, a big inspiration for my own book, the Canadian poet and classicist Anne Carson points out that desire implies the presence of three things: the lover, the beloved, and that which separates them.

In other words, there is always a gap, an obstacle, impeding the union desire seeks. This obstacle seems like a problem, and we want to get rid of it. This is clinging. I propose that if you relate to desire in a different way—if you learn how to simply dwell in the gap it opens up—then desire can become a teacher in its own right. In practical terms, this means learning to desire without expectations."

Excerpt from an interview with Mark Epstein

Read the full interview with Mark Epstein at Tricycle magazine here:
In Defense of Desire

I also highly recommend Epstein's book:
Open to Desire—Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy

For more in-depth dharma articles and instruction, visit:  METTA REFUGE

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