Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

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budo
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by budo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:10 pm

pegembara wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:31 am
Then why is desirelessness described as a goal?
"He has cut off the whirlpool
And reached desirelessness,
The stream dried up now no longer flows.
The whirlpool cut off whirls no more.
This, even this, is suffering's end."

Cūḷavagga of the Udāna
Yes, generally you are right.

However, the path provides us with a lot flexibility. All we need to attain is stream entry in this life, which doesn't require cutting out ALL desires like desire for living which Arahants have to cut (the fetter rūparāgo, the desire for material existence), so us lay folk can do the harder part later in heaven or when another Buddha arises.

Srilankaputra
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by Srilankaputra » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:20 pm

Space_0pera wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:52 pm
Is there something that I’m missing about the concept of “desire”?
An important point regarding desire is that it is conditionally arisen. It is not the case that we can always choose, Ok, I will desire this but not that.
Beset by craving, people run about like an entrapped hare(rabbit). Held fast by mental fetters they come to suffering again and again
To remove the conditions for desire we have train our selves in the noble method(Ariya magga).

The case of an Arahant is different. They are fully in control of their mind.
"He thinks any thought he wants to think, and doesn't think any thought he doesn't want to think. He wills any resolve he wants to will, and doesn't will any resolve he doesn't want to will. He has attained mastery of the mind with regard to the pathways of thought
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .html#fn-1
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

befriend
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by befriend » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:25 pm

Tanha is thirst or desire for sensual pleasures chandha is wholesome desire desire to be aware and to have well being desire to help others etc...
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

Space_0pera
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by Space_0pera » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:48 pm

Wow, I didn't expect so many replies. Thank you very much for your help, I'm really greatful. Now I have a lot of information to reflect on. The first idea that comes to mind after reading all the answers is that there are wholesome and unwholesome desires. The final goal is to get rid of all of them, but that is a really long process. Lay people are only expected to get to certain point in the path.

:namaste:

JohnK
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by JohnK » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:09 pm

Space_0pera wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:48 pm
Wow, I didn't expect so many replies. Thank you very much for your help, I'm really greatful. Now I have a lot of information to reflect on. The first idea that comes to mind after reading all the answers is that there are wholesome and unwholesome desires. The final goal is to get rid of all of them, but that is a really long process. Lay people are only expected to get to certain point in the path.

:namaste:
That sounds pretty good -- except for the last sentence which I think is overstated.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by dhammacoustic » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:10 am

Space_0pera wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:52 pm
(...)

To sum up, it the purpose of a Buddhist to remove all types of desire, or just some of them? If you only need to remove some of them, why is this not specified? (instead of just saying: “desire is the root of all suffering”)
the purpose is to learn to disidentify with mental phenomena. desires cannot be removed , but they can be directed, so allow them to burn until they extinguish themselves. your job is to rationally manage them while elevating your consciousness into a deeper state.....as you improve in your practice, you'll get better at controlling your mind , and once you deeply understand how to properly hold the reins of your mind, you'll be able to transform your brain into whatever you want it to be..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:21 am

Greetings,

I have allowed the above post, even though "desires cannot be removed" does not appear to have much basis in the Canon.

There are suttas on the elimination of unwelcome thoughts, as well as countless suttas on seeing things as they really are, in order to give rise to disenchantment.
AN 11.1 wrote:"And what is the purpose of knowledge & vision of things as they actually are? What is its reward?"

"Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of disenchantment? What is its reward?"

"Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of dispassion? What is its reward?"

"Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.
Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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retrofuturist
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:22 am

Greetings,
Space_0pera wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:48 pm
The first idea that comes to mind after reading all the answers is that there are wholesome and unwholesome desires. The final goal is to get rid of all of them, but that is a really long process. Lay people are only expected to get to certain point in the path.
Perhaps the following on Right Effort might help...
SN 45.8 wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort?

"There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

JohnK
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by JohnK » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:26 pm

I just listened to a recent 12 minute talk called "The Truth of Desires" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu that is relevant to this thread.
This link is to a list of talks.
Select the one called "The Truth of Desires" from June 19, 2019.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/mp3_index_current.html
Get to know your desires -- it takes practice as some of them hide like crafty politicians influencing our perceptions.
(He also points out the 4 right efforts as Retro did above.)
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

Laurens
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Re: Hello, I need help understanding "desire"

Post by Laurens » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:59 pm

There are wholesome desires. The desire to become a more loving person, the desire to attain samadhi, to follow the Buddha, to attain Nibbana etc.

These ought to be understood for what they are though. They are still a root of suffering, and the desire being wholesome will not change that. For instance say I desire to be a more loving person. That desire can lead to some wholesome states. Perhaps I meditate on metta a lot and start to really connect with others in a positive way etc. However, I might also think an unloving thought, and then feel as though I am not good enough because these thoughts do not align with my desired state of being a more loving person. Thus I would suffer, even though my desire is for something wholesome.

So, in essence, it's good to have wholesome desires, but know them for what they are and pay attention to when they cause suffering. Ultimately all desire is to be let go of, because even the purest of intentions can cause you pain.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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