Dec 17, 2021 • 3M

[0011]Recognising desire

May you not be seduced by desire

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The heart of meditation podcards are just the essential habits of mind that you need to inculcate to quiet you mind and stay with your thoughts. Use their gentle reminder in your daily practice to reflect on and to break your habitual ways of thinking.
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Vairāgyam (Sanskrit: वैराग्यम्) is the absence of any desire for material objects and sensual pleasures. Your mind has an insatiable desire for material things because they are firm and solid—things that you can hold on to in a world that is seemingly out of your control. You believe that you are irresistibly drawn to pleasure when you are actually running away from pain. The five skandhas (Sanskrit: स्कन्ध) in Buddhism are the physical and mental factors that compel you to cling tightly to the things of this world. First and foremost among the skandhas is form, or your appetite for the physical; then there are the sensations and feelings that form gives rise to, long after the physical experience has passed away, for perceptions continue to distort and transform direct experience by reframing it within your familiar mental constructs; then come the plentitude of associated thoughts that perception fosters accompanied by a proliferation of utilitarian explanations, which further distance you from the reality of the experience; finally you strive to maintain these states of consciousness so that you may continue to have all of the above, as if letting go would mean the loss of life itself. Suffering arises when you try to hold on to things that are gradually evolving and changing—like your character and your identity. Things that are meant to be a flexible summary of your experiential aggregates, ever-changing and capable of always being updated. When you contrive to be and act a certain way so as to be and have the things that you desire, your life is governed by a series of injunctions that you struggle to conform to. So learn to discern between your needs and desires; between what would help you grow and evolve and what would keep you entrenched in suffering.

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