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6 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2008 - 12:55AM #1
NoisyGong
Posts: 9
I desire more information about desire!    I will be most grateful for any thoughts on the following.

Is the Buddhist goal to overcome desire or is it to recognize and experience desire as a playful, creature of the mind?   Neither, or both?
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2008 - 1:04AM #2
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

NoisyGong wrote:

I desire more information about desire! I will be most grateful for any thoughts on the following.

Is the Buddhist goal to overcome desire or is it to recognize and experience desire as a playful, creature of the mind? Neither, or both?



The Buddhist goal is to be aware of desire, but not to be ruled by it - which leads to suffering. Desire, in and of itself is not a "bad" thing. But to be ruled by it, as in addictions, leads to suffering and self-destruction.

We will always have desire, for example, if you have children then you will always desire that they are happy, healthy and doing well. Nothing wrong there... Until that desire leads you into unhealthy obsessions, like wanting to protect them so much that you lock your daughters in ivory towers and throw away the key!

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2008 - 9:24AM #3
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

Ajahn Patisallano wrote:

There is no buddhist goal. You, practicing buddhism, only have personal goals. Part of understanding yourself is to understand the desires that arise. From these desire emotions tell you about the status of the desires and about the status of your mind.

When you then have discovered what is making ripples in your mind, you will be able to smoothen the ripples and again have a quiet, balanced mind. Then your task is to try and prevent new ripples from arising as good as you can. If a ripple occurs it is not a loss - it is just a new task to be done.



Well said!

And as some else once told me. "In Buddhism, the end does not justify the means. The end is the means." :)
It's all about the journey.

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2008 - 12:03PM #4
vacchagotta
Posts: 298
To overcome desire means to be in control of yourself rather than following desire like a servant. 

There is a goal in Buddhism.  Without a goal, you only have 1,2,and 4th noble truths.  Arguably you don't even have the fourth, since it only exists as the conduit to the goal. 

in friendliness,
V.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2008 - 12:13PM #5
vacchagotta
Posts: 298
Do I read Ajahn correctly as saying that there is a goal in Buddhism but that it is a personal, that is to say entirely interior goal.  The goal is not outside of oneself like a soccer goal or a finish line in a race.  This is a lot different than saying that the end is the same as the means or that there is no goal. 

I would say in answer to the original poster's question that the goal of Buddhist practice is more like the former option than the latter.  The latter is passive and I don't see how it works to overcome the production of suffering.  It's kind of like being too lax of a parent and letting the child control the household, to its ruination.  To overcome desire is put in terms of victory and defeat because in war it is one will pitted against another.  In the case of Buddhism, your will, your true will, is to end suffering and desire's will, your deluded will, is to dive right into suffering because it is so juicy and fun and phenomenal.  The question is which will is dominant?  Which will has the rule of the roost?  So in the case of suffering beings, they are overcome by desire...desire has a will over them, they follow desires like a wretched servant.  Overcoming desire is to see where it will lead you and to say "no thanks" or in the words of Bartleby "I'd prefer not to." 

in friendliness,
V.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2008 - 3:28PM #6
Bob0
Posts: 482
Getting back to desire. click here Here is a thoughtful article from Access to Insight. click here
I hope this is beneficial,
Bob
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2008 - 12:04PM #7
vacchagotta
Posts: 298
Can you explain why "the means is the end" is correct? 
To me it sounds against the grain of the Buddha's common sense teaching: the eightfold path exists solely as a means to the goal of crossing over the flood of suffering.  As a raft, it is discarded.  This analogy pretty clearly distinguishes between means and end in a rather striking fashion.  It is also rather clear that being on the raft is not the same as being on the other shore.   

If the means were the end, the goal would not be the other shore but just blithely tooling around on your raft. 

in friendliness,
V.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2008 - 12:04PM #8
vacchagotta
Posts: 298
Can you explain why "the means is the end" is correct? 
To me it sounds against the grain of the Buddha's common sense teaching: the eightfold path exists solely as a means to the goal of crossing over the flood of suffering.  As a raft, it is discarded.  This analogy pretty clearly distinguishes between means and end in a rather striking fashion.  It is also rather clear that being on the raft is not the same as being on the other shore.   

If the means were the end, the goal would not be the other shore but just blithely tooling around on your raft. 

in friendliness,
V.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2008 - 3:16PM #9
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

vacchagotta wrote:

Can you explain why "the means is the end" is correct?
To me it sounds against the grain of the Buddha's common sense teaching: the eightfold path exists solely as a means to the goal of crossing over the flood of suffering. As a raft, it is discarded. This analogy pretty clearly distinguishes between means and end in a rather striking fashion. It is also rather clear that being on the raft is not the same as being on the other shore.

If the means were the end, the goal would not be the other shore but just blithely tooling around on your raft.

in friendliness,
V.


“The fundamental of the Zen approach is that all is as it should be, nothing is missing. This very moment everything is perfect. The goal is not somewhere else, it is here, it is now.” – Osho

"A major figure in the transmission of Zen to the West, Zen Master Seung Sahn was known for his powerful teaching style, which was direct, surprising, and often humorous. He taught that Zen is not about achieving a goal, but about acting spontaneously from “don’t-know mind.” It is from this “before-thinking” nature, he taught, that true compassion and the desire to serve others naturally arises. This collection of teaching stories, talks, and spontaneous dialogues with students offers readers a fresh and immediate encounter with one of the great Zen masters of the twentieth century."
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/disp … 1590303405


"zen requires a constant balancing act--to look deep inside ourselves while at the same time developing awareness of our environment and all our relations within it. The more mindful we are of what we do, the more mindful we are of each other. In truth, zen demands balancing the paradoxical. Pay attention, zen says, but do not pay attention--that is, force yourself to pay attention to the point where you forget you're forcing yourself and simply start paying attention; only then will you know something about zen. Do without doing; expect the unexpected; pursue a goal without pursuing, with no goal in mind. Logically, these words make no sense. But in zen, truth lies beyond on the grasp of logic, in the realm of intuition. As a playwright once said, "The center of the contradiction--that's where you want to be." Zen lies there, balancing the opposites."
http://www.maui.net/~zen_gtr/zcfaq.html
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2008 - 3:25PM #10
brburl
Posts: 132
Zen is not about achieving a goal,

The goal of no goal, but do not forget that this a Theravadin forum.

This is true - if you set a fixed goal to be Arahant, that goal itself will keep you from reaching the state of Arahant.
If you set a floating goal, then it can be achieved.


Sounds good, but what does it really mean?
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