Image courtesy of njaj/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a little book called “Daily Advice from the Heart” that contains meditations written by the Dalai Lama. Today I am going to share with you the one mediation in it that is always bookmarked:

“It is the very nature of desire to rise again ever more strongly, even after one thinks it has been satisfied. Whoever allows him or herself to be trapped by desire in this way is like a man dying of thirst who drinks a bowl of seawater: the more he drinks, the more thirsty he becomes.”

Dali Lama, 2001. 365 Dalai Lama Daily Advice from the Heart: Inspiring new teachings, p. 245, Paris: Presses de la Renaissance.

This very wise man’s words reminds me of Alcoholics Anonymous’ (AA) saying, in terms of the number of drinks one drinks that “One is too many and a thousand is not enough.” I keep my bookmark at this quote because it so aptly describes my own experience. For me it can be one drink, one potato chip, one slice of homemade bread, one computer game, etc. Obviously, desire has been an issue in my life. I like this quote because it lets me identify with the human condition rather than with “having a disease.”

When I look at my “addictive personality” with  this pair of sunglasses on, I can begin to see that all along my problem has been about desire, or to put it in a term I am more familiar with, about expectations. If I expect some object, person, place, or thing to “fill up the empty” I will never be able to get enough.

It is only in these last few years that I have begun to understand that I’ve never been empty—-that what I needed to feel “whole” or “okay” was already within me; I was born with it. I just forgot how to tap into the mystery. What am I talking about? Well, for me, my understanding is that God, Creator, Spirit, etc. installed a bit of “God-Creator-Spirit” essence in me when I was formed in my mother’s womb. What I’ve been learning to do these last couple of years is to still my mind, or, as a friend of mine tells me, to “tell the committee to shut up” so I can be aware of that “mystery essence” that is part of me and every human. Once I am able to tap into the mystery and realize the ultimate reality is my oneness with God-Creator-Spirit” and all of Creation, it no longer feels like I have a void that is screaming to be filled.

It seems ironic to me that what I have been searching for all these years has always been a part of me . However, as discussed in previous blog entries, there are those that think we need our life experiences to teach us and give us the maturity needed to appreciate and own the spirit part of ourselves. Others believe, too, that we need to experience suffering for our egos to allow us to give up, ask for help, and, in receiving it, align with the spiritual essence of life.

When I am honest, the “how and why” of it are not as important as how I apply this insight in my daily life. If I am not careful my ego will stop being so cooperative, start building itself up again, and block out my “spirit connection.” Before long my ego will start to feel in control and, as a consequence, need to “feed that sense of control” with a variety of desires. When my ego and control desires are allowed to dictate my thoughts and actions, it is not long until I consider searching in the wrong places to “feel full” again. It seems like I repeatedly have to go through this pattern. However, the “ego run riot” segments of my reality are admittedly fewer, shorter, and further between, and for this I am grateful.

Please comment and share your thoughts about the role desire has played in your life. May God bless and keep you.