The 77% Weekly
The 40/52-weeks-a-year, quick-reading, thought-lingering, spiritual-religious newsletter.

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16/40
From the desk of Rabbi Brian

Non-Desire?

Let’s
look (again) at a basic premise of Buddhism…that all life is filled
with suffering.

Here are some questions and answers pertaining to this idea:

Why do we suffer?

We suffer because we have attachments, and our attachments to outcomes cause suffering.

What causes attachment?

The answer, surprisingly, is simple – desire.
When we desire something, we attach ourselves to the notion of getting
it, having it, possessing it. If we don’t receive the object of our
desire, it causes us distress. In either case, desire causes suffering.

So…let’s get to the real root of this issue:

How do we get rid of desire?

First, let’s ask a question in response to this question: do we even want to eliminate our desire?

If we answer no, then, well, you don’t need to read any further.  If, on the other hand,
we answer yes, we think it would be worth our while to consider getting rid of desire, then we need to look at
the primary cause of desire and why we always want things.

The
culture we live in contributes significantly to our craving for stuff
we don’t need. The advertisements we see and hear on the TV, radio,
magazines, and mail are always pushing us to want more, faster, easier, fun. We’re encouraged – literally hundreds of times a day – to want things.

You
don’t ever hear advertisers telling us, “Relax. You have enough. Kick
back and enjoy what you have.” If they told us that, they couldn’t sell
us anything!  (Hey, you do have this newsletter reminding you to relax.)

Of
course, the advertisements and our culture aren’t entirely to blame.

Desire is an innate quality in people. I see this in my kids. If one
child has a toy, the other child wants that toy. No one teaches them
that, it’s just how it works. As sophisticated as we’d like to think we
are, many of us get jealous over our neighbors’ belongings.

Here’s the spiritual religious exercise for the week: Sit with desire.

Sit with the feeling of wanting. What does that feel like? What happens if you don’t get what you want? What happens if you desire without acting?

The
longer you sit with desire, the easier it will be (probably) to brush
off the cravings. The idea is that then you’ll have fewer attachments,
and therefore, less suffering.

Let’s
face it, whatever you’ve been doing up until now with regard to
following desire hasn’t been working, right? So why not give this a try
for a day or a week. Let non-desire guide you for a while.

This week’s spiritual-religious advice: learn about your desire.

 

With love,

Rabbi Brian

Rabbi Brian

The 77% Weekly

The 77% Weekly: The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
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