Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Truth Behind Desire

I was so glad I went to IMC on Monday. Gil gave a great talk on 'desire'.

Here are my notes:
Desire is not to be rid of. Rather, we need to have a wise relationship with it. Some desires are worth having, others are not. Each time, we need to carefully evaluate, is this wise or not? is this helpful or not? Sometimes compulsion makes it impossible to have that reflection. To evaluate, we need to look at the consequences for ourselves, and also for others. 
Desires are layered. We need to look at the surface desire, and what is the motivation underneath the desire. The quality of our intention has a big impact on the overall quality of our life. Are we motivated primarily by love or hostility, generosity or greed? We need to ask what is the the main purpose for our life, and then evaluate each of our desires against that purpose. 
We need to understand who is in charge? Us, or the desire? Are we in such a state of calm, contentment, and clarity, that we can see the desire and then have no need to pick it up? 
Simple guidelines. Important wisdom. Not taking desire at face value.

I know for myself, there has been many times when seemingly 'good' desire was in fact rooted in greed. And while I had a subconscious, intuitive sense of the truth, I chose to ignore it, not realizing the ultimate price. Conversely, I have also noticed how 'bad' impulses often arise out of a hurt place. Next time ill will arises, I will not be so quick to judge and feel even worse for it. There is a loving path to take there, that leads to a place of non reactivity and self-compassion. 

How do you relate to desire?


  1. thanks for the helpful post! it is easy to take that knee jerk reaction that all desire is bad but in truth we need to use our minds wisely to discern what our motivation is and to examine the desire. a lovely, wise middle path approach. I will watch for the posting of this talk on Gil's site.

  2. Yes, it is such a kind, wise way to be with our inevitable impulses. Today, I have watched with great curiosity many such small 'desires', and tracked them down to their roots. Amazing what can be found there . . .