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Is our desire part of us? - Dhamma Wheel

Is our desire part of us?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
Lysander
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Is our desire part of us?

Postby Lysander » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:11 pm

Hello there, I am new to Buddhism. I hope i can find a satisfactory answer for the question i have here.

Is the prescription for dealing with suffering, i.e. the renunciation of all worldly desires flawed? The desiring part of us -- call it eros, taṇhā, the id, the amygdala, or whatever you will -- is ultimately still a part of us. We are embodied beings, with physical cravings and wants. We can't disown our desires, because they are us.

PeterB
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:27 pm

If they were us Lysander then they would be the same last year and in ten years time....but they change dont they ? There might be some semblance of continuity,,,but it all changes doesnt it ? And it is never satisfied...as soon as we reach that which we desire...we want it again or something else entirely.

Lysander
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Lysander » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:31 pm

What about physical desire, such as the need for sleep, food, sex? Do they originate from the mind or the body? How can we separate our self from such needs?

PeterB
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:45 pm

We are complex psycho-physical beings. We can gain some insight into the way that desires arise by quietening our minds and focussing on an object ( often the breath ) which gives us some gap between the impulse or stimulus arriving, either from our environment or from our thoughts, and our responding to that impulse...this gives a greater range of possible responses . From none, to reckless abandon... :smile: The latter is not often recommended in Buddhism......

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daverupa
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:44 pm


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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:17 pm

To answer the OP, no.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

meindzai
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby meindzai » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:07 am


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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:10 am

:goodpost:
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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Goofaholix
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:09 am

There is nothing wrong with desire, desire is normal, it's when desire turns to craving and attachment that it's a problem.

If you desire sleep then sleep, nothing wrong with that, but if you crave sleep when it's inappropriate or unnecessary then there is a problem that should be investigated.

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ground
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby ground » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:49 am


Lysander
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Lysander » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:19 am

Thank you for all the responses, they have been insightful. But it is still difficult to imagine that one day we will be able to still completely our body's desires and needs. How do you go about that?

PeterB
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:26 am

I am not sure that Buddhism sets out to still all desire as a primary goal ( unlike some forms of Hinduism for example ). That is seen as a by- product of wisdom, of understanding, of Insight.

We undertake certain meditative practice which weaken our identification with the object of desire by focussing instead on things less transient..which gives a degree of peace and tranquility of mind which become self reinforcing.

meindzai
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby meindzai » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:01 pm


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Jason
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Jason » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:55 pm

Last edited by Jason on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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Nibbida
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Nibbida » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:08 pm

In line with the anatta stuff above, the desire can be viewed as a passing event, rather than a defining part of a lasting, separate self.

Lysander
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Lysander » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:48 pm

Thank you Jason, you understood what i was trying to get at since i am pretty bad at expressing my thoughts. :embarassed:

It is just that in trying to understand the concept of nirvana, of consciousness without a physical body is difficult for me to accept intellectually.

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Jason
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby Jason » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:30 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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rowyourboat
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:54 pm

I think we often confuse 'desire' with 'intention'. If the body tells us it needs, food water etc- this does not mean that the ability to respond to that is a ..craving, for want of a better word. I find the word 'desire' confusing because it supposes we are attracted to something- that we are not free from that attraction. I would stick with the word tanha which simply means craving, then you have cetana, which means intention to do something- this can be with or without craving/tanha.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
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dhammapal
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby dhammapal » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:47 pm







rowyourboat
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Re: Is our desire part of us?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:26 pm

Hi dhammapal,

Nice quote- I think Thanissaro is talking about stubbornness (ahankara?), another defilement we need to be aware of and remove. Also a positive quality 'the ability to take advice'/ease of instructing (suvaca) comes to mind.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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