Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free from Craving, Wanting and Yearning

Part of the noble truths of Buddhism is that all craving (desire, yearning, wanting) causes unhappiness and suffering. The reason for this is that craving, wanting, yearning are affirmations of separateness. If I crave something, I am affirming that I do not have it - that I am separate from it. This is the opposite of unity consciousness and short-circuits the creative process.

To understand this conversation on wanting, I need to make a distinction between a state of wanting and yearning, which is what Buddhism is warning us of, from the creative spark or wish to make something, craft something, improve something or initiate something new. The former we need and want in our lives. The latter we do not. Unfortunately, these words are often used interchangeably in the English language.

In our current Western society, we foster the art of wanting. We continually want more of what we see in the media, at the shopping mall, and on our computers. In this state of perpetual wanting, we continue to affirm that we are separate from the things that we desire. 

If we limited this behavior to things, it would be one thing; as things will never make us happy. But we tend to expand this state of wanting to everything we wish for: love, peace, joy and happiness. We want it and therefore affirm that we are separate from it.

As it is true that how we think and feel affects and creates our world; this continual state of wanting creates more unhappiness, separateness and yes, more wanting. It is a vicious cycle. If our dominant thoughts are of craving what we do not have, we are doomed to continually suffer from wanting what we do not have.

But there is a way to break free and it begins with mindfulness. If you can, moment by moment, choose a different emotion, a different state and Be what you want to be now, you can find peace and happiness. If you can be mindful enough each day to Be your wishes instead of wanting them, your dominant state shifts. Your world shifts.

Often, if we are not wanting, we are worrying. To worry is to reside in a state we do NOT want before it has happened. This is one of the worst wastes of energy. This is clearly not an investment in Life. 

To crave, yearn, long for, and continually want is to affirm that the state that you are in is separate from the state you wish for. 

To have that which you wish for, you must instead, Be it now. Become the state of thinking and feeling Now, and let those thoughts and feelings dominate your present moment. Be happy. Be peaceful. Be _____. (Fill in the blank for yourself.)

“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Be free from wanting, affirm unity. Be Now what you wish to Be.

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