Must we distinguish our desire for living?

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Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby flowerbudh » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:15 am

I read something somewhere (apologizies for not being able to cite a source,) that said we need to lose our desire to be reborn/have form/be human etc. but how can this be done while we're still alive as human beings?
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:39 am

flowerbudh wrote:I read something somewhere (apologizies for not being able to cite a source,) that said we need to lose our desire to be reborn/have form/be human etc. but how can this be done while we're still alive as human beings?


You can start to experience some of this in meditation, however slight. Being in a non dual state where subject and object dissolve, and being able to be (temporarily) free of the suffering of change as you cease grasping, are things I have experienced even without being a very good meditator.

So the short answer is, you need to practice, and likely need a teacher.

Beyond that, i've found that as i've gotten older, and observed my mind reacting to the world, it has confirmed Buddhist doctrine for me, in that I see my mind constantly reaching out for that next thing that will make me happy and whole, but it's always moving, it's like a trick, there's no such thing in samsara, it can't bring the happiness it promises. There's no need to dwell on that, or to not enjoy life, but you have to be convinced that samsara is what it is. Once you can see through the trick a bit you get disenchanted with it. Even if it's still dazzling every now and then, you see the wires, and you know it's not real.

The four thoughts that turn the mind are a good starting point:


the freedoms and advantages of precious human rebirth
the truth of impermanence and change
the workings of karma
the suffering of living beings within samsara
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby flowerbudh » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:38 pm

Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Simon E. » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:17 pm

Apparently so.
I doubt if anyone here on this forum experiences that though. But of course I might be wrong. If any one does its probably the last person you would suspect .. :smile:
Certainly not me, or any of the other bigmouths and woo-hoos.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby seeker242 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:21 pm

As a Bodhisattva, you don't need to extinguish your desire to be reborn. You just switch it from "for me" to "for all beings" and you keep being reborn until they are all saved from suffering. And once you have saved all beings from suffering, you will already know the answers to all those kinds of questions. That's my take on it.

flowerbudh wrote:Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?


Someone asked my teacher once, a Zen Master, how often they should meditate. Like 20 minutes or 40 minutes a day? Once a day or twice a day? He said "24/7!"

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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:27 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?



I think it's more like at some point you can no longer distinguish between meditation and non-meditation, that is a high achievement though!

I like alot of the Pali Canon descriptions of when The Buddha reached enlightenment, many times it's referenced like "being done", like he knew there was simply nothing left to do anymore.

Can you imagine that, No longer having anything pushing you to do anything? I can't even imagine it.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Inge » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:15 pm

flowerbudh wrote:I read something somewhere (apologizies for not being able to cite a source,) that said we need to lose our desire to be reborn/have form/be human etc. but how can this be done while we're still alive as human beings?

It is distinguished of its own accord when you through the practice of shamata and viphassana directly see that from the experience of the tormented being of the hell realms, all the way up to the peak of samsara, the dimension of neither perception, nor non-perception, there are no phenomena that are not compounded. Being compounded they are not permanent. Being permanent they are not satisfactory. Realizing this, the chain of dependent origination is broken between feeling and craving. Upon the dissolution of the body at the time of death, as there are no craving for existence, there are no rebirth. As to what happens after death, I have no idea.

His is my conceptual "understanding" (from the point of view of the path of renunciation). I have no real knowledge about such things.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby wisdom » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:08 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?


Yes. In Dzogchen this is basically having gained stability in Rigpa, which is Pure Non-Conceptual Awareness. Once this is recognized fully, then every moment day and night no matter what you do you wont even be able to move from it if you try, not that you would want to anyways.

You dont need to extinguish your desire for living. Being alive is not the problem. Attachment to appearances is the problem. Attachment to the sense of self is the problem. The poisons are the problem. Ignorance is the problem. The remedy is basically Bodhicitta, as the whole path from beginning to end is encompassed in it.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Simon E. » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:00 am

Ultimately even the poisons are only a problem as long as they are seen as my problem. After that they simply return to the great energy pot.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:12 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Can you imagine that, No longer having anything pushing you to do anything? I can't even imagine it.

Isn't this "imagining" (of results and consequences) pushing you to do things? No wonder it can't be imagined.

flowerbudh wrote:Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?

Another question would be, do you want to be in this state constantly, and what does it imply.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:35 am

Not "distinguish, but "extinguish".

(Sorry but I'm an editor.)

As regards the question - it is not a matter really of extinguishing, rather than being 'free of compulsion'. Most of us - me also! - are 'driven by compulsion' in one way or another. The teaching is about letting go of that 'being driven'. It is not an easy thing to do, but I also think it is not what you might be imagining it to be.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby flowerbudh » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:36 am

No need for apologies, jeeprs! :) I'm smacking myself in the forehead for that one.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:28 am

'Ladies and gentlemen and extinguished guests...... :tongue:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby lobster » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:41 am

flowerbudh wrote:Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?


Of course.

What else is formal meditation leading to? Sitting around all day with Nothing to do?
You will find as even the sleeping, judgemental and awakened find, constant meditative awareness is 'emptiness within form' . . . or is it form within emptiness . . .

:woohoo:

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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:06 pm

That question is a double edged sword. Desire for living seems not so good, because it is a craving. Instead of desiring to live, just live. Take what comes, instead of wanting this or that.

Not so easy, of course. I still desire, like I assume almost everyone. Don't beat yourself up over it, just relax. And live.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby brahmacharya » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:20 pm

flowerbudh wrote:I read something somewhere (apologizies for not being able to cite a source,) that said we need to lose our desire to be reborn/have form/be human etc. but how can this be done while we're still alive as human beings?


But who told you that you are a human being? You are only that - that "you" (I) feeling which is the source of everything. You're just identifying yourself with the body. If you were to concentrate on the awareness, on the "I" thought-feeling strongly until you're pretty much absorbed in it and the mind is still without thoughts, the idea that you are the body drops on its own.
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Re: Must we distinguish our desire for living?

Postby avisitor » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:55 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Is it possible for one to be in a constant state of meditative awareness, then?


If one has practiced .. with right effort and for a while ...
one can notice that the meditative state doesn't stop as soon as one stops sitting
Moments of the feeling of concentration may linger
Taking this further, one can bring this feeling or state into ones life

Example is ... while waiting for the bus,
instead of just standing there waiting and thinking about the bus or something else
Focus upon the present moment, concentration, breathe, awareness
One might be able to see the present moment change from waiting for the bus to living ones life moment to moment
It is living life more fully. But, the change is ever so ... imperceptible, slight
As the practice takes over, one lives in the present moment ... Ram Dass 's be here, now .. sort of thing.

whoa ... sorry for going off topic
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