Desire can run our entire life; desire for pleasant experiences, tastes, sounds, sensations and scenarios. We can work with these desires to see them for what they truly are, and how they take us away from present moment completeness.
The thing with desire is the “if only” mind. The wanting mind that wants what is not here. If only I had time to meditate more in the morning. If only I could be more present. If only I’d eaten less. If only I looked younger. If only I was doing better things with my life. If only I was in the right relationship, had more money, whatever. If only this happened, then I’d be happy, then I’d be fulfilled, then I’d be awakened, complete, content, healed, a better person.
The problem with it (or maybe a better word is hurdle), is that we believe that what we seek is somewhere else; in some future time, in outside objects, in some future state, when we will become fulfilled and complete. But all we have is what’s here and now. If I get what I desire, then will I be satisfied? There really is no end to desire. One desire is replaced by another. What we seek is not outside of us, it is our inner essence, the peace within, our being, our presence. This place is complete and not seeking in the future for satisfaction.
It’s not our fault either. Society fools us. It says if you have a beautiful body, great sex, lots of money, big expensive toys, a good nights sleep, a healthy bank account then you’ll be happy.
So how do we work with this? We can begin to understand it and use it for insight. We can be aware when desire arises, and look for its origin. Instead of acting it out, we can identify what exactly it is that is creating this desire. Who is desiring? Do you personally generate the desire you feel for certain things? By going deeply into this, we begin to see that desire arises on its own; it’s the structure of the mind itself.
It’s possible that as desire comes on in whatever form it may, to identify as the awareness of your desire, rather than identifying as “I desire that”. You can see that “there is the energy of desire”. Sit with it. Feel what it does to your body, feel the sensations arising because of it. Name it, watch it come, then watch it leave. By bringing in this state of awareness/consciousness, by shining a light on it and not identifying with it, we begin to dissolve it. Be aware of it. Don’t get lost in it, and you will dissolve it. In it’s place, there is peace and fulfilment.