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N° 40

Once desire and wrong view of self
are understood in the right way
and all belief systems and every attachment
are seen to be empty,
the Master will live joyfully,
free from unhappiness.
Dhammapada verse 294
Understanding desire.

Desire is the voice in the head which says, 'if only I had that, then I'd be happy,' and so desire is always a double edged sword.
If you fulfill your desire you want it next time and if you don't get it you suffer, but if you have an unfulfilled desire, you suffer immediately.
This is why true dhammic peace (awakening) lies outside desire. The mind without desire makes no demands on the world to fulfill its ego based demands.
Imagine a life where you don't want anything from anyone, where all desire has ended.
The truth is that you can't because before awakening your life is motivated and propelled by selfish desire.
So how do awakened beings live without desire? This becomes the question, and the answer as with so many true dhammic teachings is extremely simple.
Awakened beings live only from personal preferences.
If they get what they want they are happy, if they don't get what they want they are still happy because their happiness is not dependent upon fulfilled desire. They can make choices but do not suffer because of the outcome.
This is an important teaching.
In the beginning desire has value, it makes us do the work of practice, but the practice must take us to the desireless state where life is just life and happiness, peace and love reside fully and completely in the heart. There is nothing to get, no manipulation required to feel secure in life and relationships, and no grasping at a transient identity.
The desireless state is the state of true unlimited love for all beings and manifests freely with everything to give and share.

May all beings be happy.


The difficulty of the Pure Dhamma Path.

...here there are no ego incentives offered for your Dhamma practice. No badges, no special Dhamma names from another language, no special clothes for you to wear to show that you have attained a certain understanding and no special position for you in the Dhamma hall.
If you have trained with me, even for twenty years (as some of you have), your place is to help and support those new people coming for the first time. To welcome them and make them feel at ease.
As an ego you will be invisible, but your loving presence will be felt.
Even if you are one of the managers here, sitting close to me in the dining room, your place is to serve the others. It is to ensure that their presence is valued if only because they want to hear and practice Dhamma.
Service is the way of Dhamma.
So here ego is played down and down. Of course it (self identity) still exists, but we're not promoting that and our understanding is that the moment this practice is about 'you' you will have stepped off the Pure Dhamma Path......

May all beings be happy.

Why meditate?

Two western Buddhists arrived in heaven and were walking along a road. They came to signpost which said 'Nirvana this way' and in the opposite direction the signpost said, 
'Talks about Nirvana, this way'.
Which road did they take?
It often seems to me that in a purely Dhamma sense, I am the last of the Mohicans!
So many times I feel alone in maintaining the purity of Dhamma and the practice of Vipassana; to see, know and understand the mind, which is the architect of our life.
I trained as a disciple for forty years before entering the loving emptiness of true understanding, and now, from the depths of this infinitely compassionate heart, I serve the world so that all beings may realize awakening for themselves.
But students often do not want the best, they want the easiest, and so teachers arrive to sell that, and make more convenient systems of 'spiritual development' readily available.
However, talking about awareness in not the same as applying awareness to your life.
Talking about love is not the same as applying love to your life.
 Incorporating new and exotic words into your vocabulary does not bring you nearer to peace.
Peace lies in silence, understanding lies in the heart, and silence is where we hear the heart.
Whatever we may think about our meditation, its sole function is to illuminate the mind so that we are no longer a victim to it. No matter how clever or intelligent we feel ourselves to be, we cannot think our way to peace, and we cannot talk our way to enlightenment.
May all beings be happy.


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I am opening my hand, where does my fist go?

Dhamma quotation:

In the end, ego is not a problem. To think of ourselves as good, or to think of ourselves as bad or unworthy, is merely the opportunity to train. To see ourselves as we really are. Simply a mass of ever-changing moods, thoughts, feelings and emotions affecting the accumulation of matter we call the body. Nothing more than that.

From Higher Than Happiness – Michael Kewley

Follow Michael on twitter @MichaelKewley

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