Maybe I should have begun the title of this post with the word desire. After all, what else is there, really, other than desire?
Well…that is, other than our true nature, inmost heart, awakened self, original self, Buddha nature, thusness, original face…(fill in your own favorite)? But then, I’ve circled back around to the hut and cabin idea (maybe we could substitute ‘tiny house’ today) because the hut, for me, has always been a metaphor for both my true inner being and for the sacred space that will provide me with the time, quiet, and peace that I perceive as being integral to my experiencing the reality of this true nature.
**Just a note before continuing…Because “True nature” and “Buddha nature” are my two favorite phrases for the personal manifestation of what I refer to as the Blue-Blue-Sky, the Ineffable, Isness, Thusness, Ultimate Reality, Ground-of-Being, or Emptiness, these are the terms you will see most frequently in my posts. Feel free to substitute your own….Inner Christ, God, Godhead, Great Spirit, the Grandmother. I truly do not claim to be particularly wise, knowledgeable, or enlightened when it comes to anyone else’s Truth. I am simply, in this blog, trying to clearly express my own views after three decades of practice watching my mind in one way or another, five decades of reading from many different spiritual traditions, and a deep ongoing desire to know, to experience my true nature.
And…that brings me back to the idea of “desire.”
To the Buddha, desire is that pesky trickster, which is the root of all our unhappiness, all our suffering. He reassured his followers, just as the teachers and texts and books written since then have reassured us, that there is a way to put an end to this desire, this cause of all that is making us miserable. And, really, there is no way we can avoid seeing how true this is.
All that desire, (that, of course, is all in our minds) trips us up in so many ways. And all that desire is problematic, whether we are wanting and longing for what we don’t have (a cabin in the woods, peace of mind, silence, a new car, springtime weather, to live in a beautiful setting…), or whether we are wishing we didn’t have what is presently part of our lives (five rainy days in a row, a cabin in the woods with a leaky roof and snakes in the rafters, a scratched new car, the ending of a wonderful stage of our life, pain in our back, pain everywhere, a lover who wants to dominate our time, a lover who doesn’t want to spend much time with us…).
It just is what it is. Desire is always with us and, until we are fully enlightened, it always will be. It’s that pesky brain we humans have. It’s just the way it was programmed to work. But, I think, what the Buddha was saying (along with neuroscientists today), is that we can work with this. We don’t have to feel stuck and helpless and always despairing. We don’t have to feel like rats stuck in one crazy-ass maze just because our brains keep churning out thoughts and wishes and should’s and guilt (all, in their own ways, being forms of desire). And, most importantly, we don’t have to base all our actions…our habitual choices/actions…on these crazy brain-created thoughts/desires. We don’t have to run away, leap into, charge forward or backward, become passively silent, or aggressively defensive. We don’t have to eat that 20th cookie, drink that 7th martini, or text that friend for the 45th time that day in order to not hear what our brains are churning out.
That safe place, that quiet hut, that beautiful, snake–free cabin is always there. It is who we are. It is who I am.
I know I already made this point in another post, but then I think I only learn by circling around and coming at ideas from many directions. So, if that really and truly ‘bugs the crap’ out of you, you may want to follow a different blog, because the last thing our minds need is more information coming at us in ways that don’t fit our own particular needs:)!
So…I’ll end here, but, if you want to hang in there with me, stay tuned for more in a future post on how I have learned to work with desire, how I work with my own mind, and how I work with all those trickster-like thoughts (including the effects of aging and Parkinson’s and living in today’s crazy world).
Thanks for “listening” to my ramblings!
May we all be happy. May we all know that we are not our thoughts. May we all know and feel the loving presence of our true nature.
(Painting in header is by Marsha J. Keith. Painting of trees is by Elizabeth D. Keith)