I have been a bit transfixed these last few weeks by the concept of desire and how it shows up for us on and off the mat.
Every year in the spring time we are given this opportunity to rebirth ourselves, to step-up or step onto this path of emergence so we can begin to action the seeds, intentions, ideas that we planted before winter that have been hibernating all of the dark cold months.
I have been seeing the small tiny TINY shoots of plants push with all their muster up through the heavy waterlogged soil to rise through the surface of the earth because those plants DESIRE to exist.
All of life desires to exist as that is why it is here.
It is universal energy trying to THRIVE, to survive.
But I think that desire is, in many belief systems vilified, or misunderstood. Framed as something that is ego led or central to suffering. Much of Buddhism as it was originally conceived was about the elimination of suffering, in part by the elimination of desire.
Are you someone who sees desire as labelled CAREFUL (red pen - orange post-it note) BEWARE. Have you separated yourself from desires? Have you been taught or conditioned to believe the desire is a problem? What comes to you when you hear the word desire?
Really, I think the deeper questions are where do these desires stem from? and how do we relate to them? How do we identify with them? Are your desires wishes or cravings or hankerings or longings or requirements? Do they make you thirsty or hungry? Do you yearn…..that deep inside sort of yearning?
Are your desires just ‘wants’? ‘Wants' of the ego mind that take us away from the freedom of present moment living? Or are they DESIRES - universal life force desires that come not from the mind but from the gut, the heart, from GOD?
When you investigate your desires do you hitch your desires to externals - do you have wants and not wants?
OK so maybe just take a moment to stop and pause.
And notice… how are you interacting with the world around you today?
What do you pursue during the day?
What are the things that you fixate on that you think will make you happy?
Are you one of those people who spends your days fishing and then at the end of the day you realise you are not looking for fish?
Can you begin to distinguish between wants and desires. When desires knock on your door do you ever ask yourself why you want the things you want?
Here we are in this human form and yes we have wants and desires...
for sure there is a reason the Buddhist teachings recommend you don't lock yourself into wanting and pushing for more!
The ...if only I had….(fill in the blank)
And if you get what you want are you ready to maintain that thing…
Are you ready to become the person that who owns that want?
In the Tantric practices there is a goddess, Lalita Tripura Sundari, who is the embodiment of desire as the universal creative force. In the Indian view of creation desire (Kama) is the first seed of life. The closest we have to this in our Western language is Eros, although this has become relegated to only the sexual, it is something much much vaster. Eros is the driving force of life itself. Like Kama, it is cosmic allure, it is what makes life spicy and lively and alluring.
So Lalita tells us desire is creative, life-enhancing, re-birthing, emerging energy that we can access - it is a powerful bliss she embodies that pulls the wants of the mind into the spiritual heart. Amoung her weapons Lalita carries 5 arrows, each arrow is one of the five senses (I love this!). Which makes SENSE as all desires are on a fundamental level about feeling a certain way.
So if instead of looking at our desires as things we should be ashamed of, that we need to eliminate in order to reach freedom, look at them as creative life-enhancing seeds.
When we look at our desires as creative (urges or ideas or upwellings) that knock on your door, or emerge from that inside GOD - they become these portals of recognition as the self as the divine. When we look at these desires as seeds of creativity or weapons of passion we relate to them differently. Instead of hankering and grasping and wanting the desires become essential movements of inspiration inside of us carry us forward on this flow in this lifetime.
What I find so fascinating and something I was discussing in class with one of my dear teachers last week… is that our desires that come from God (even when we label them creative positive desires, seeds of intention or divinity) are still there to satisfy us, to satiate our appetite of becoming. They, in some way, fill the holes left by our humanness.
Oh there is another hole, I have another desire - lets act on that desire to get … (fill in the gap) and repeat.
Do you see the loop of life?
Does this acknowledgement and awareness make you feel more free?
Remember this simple act of awareness is a profound act of courage.
What I think is one of the most fascinating things about desire is... is the desire that so many of us have to be something we have never been before? Or to have something we have never experienced? Or have we? Just not in this lifetime.
So here is your Easter homework…
Journal on all the questions above that I have asked you in this article…
Then sit in meditation, get quiet and wait.
Wait for an upwelling, a true desire to come upon you.
Allow yourself to receive the desire through the divine, rather that from your monkey mind who thinks….
Allow yourself to receive your desire from your gut, from your heart, from GOD.
Then embody that desire.
Sense the relationship you begin to create to your desire and allow that to be your playground.
Make the choice to lean into the part of yourself that knows you can have anything you want.
Become the desire so that in turn you become fulfilment.