Desire can just spring out of nowhere. I mean you’re walking along, minding your own business, and then… *BAM!*
I went to the yoga centre today to do some karma yoga. They had me cleaning out one of the bedrooms, ready for the trainee teachers that’re coming in on Sunday, and in the room was this gorgeous looking chair.
Now I don’t know about you, but that chair works for me. I like the shape, I like the design, and I even like the colour of it. It’s a chair I’d like to own.
And that’s the crazy thing! I went from not knowing of that chair’s existence to seeing, to liking, to wanting; all within the blink of an eye. One minute I’m fine, the next there’s a chair shaped hole in my life!
Ok, I’m slightly exaggerating here. It is a nice chair, but I think I can live without it (especially considering how much it is). But I’m not exaggerating how quickly the desire to own the chair, or at the very least sit in it, came upon me.
In a world of instant gratification, where everything is geared towards fulfilling our desires as quickly and as easily as possible, we’ve got to watch out. It’s all too easy to just give in, go for what we want, only to find we either no longer want it once we have it, or we get bored with it really easily and start desiring something else.
Our desires are just thoughts, and like all thoughts they arise and then they pass. This is where meditation helps. It allows us to observe these thoughts/desires as they come and go, allowing us to not give in to them or the idea that having what we want will make us happy.
Fulfilling our desires is not going to make us happy, not for long at any rate. In fact it can often have the opposite effect. Think about it; the more stuff you have the more stuff you have to dust. And unless you really like dusting…
Our desires are no more real than our fears, our dreams, our doubts, or our prejudice. They are just thought patterns that arise, exist for a while, and then fade away. The more we can practice non-attachment to such things the happier we will be. Because in those moments when we want for nothing, and are in fact just enjoying the beauty of life, that is when we are truly happy.
It’s still a nice chair though, lol.
Addendum: I did sit in the chair by the way. It wasn’t the most comfortable. Needed a cushion for your back. But it was wide enough to sit cross-legged in, which I like. So all in all, not ideal, but not so bad either.