Desire for Enlightenment

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Desire for Enlightenment

Postby Stephen K » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:16 pm

Desire for Enlightenment: a hindrance or a help?
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Re: Desire for Enlightenment

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:22 pm

a help.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Desire for Enlightenment

Postby bodom » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:31 pm

This would be considered a wholesome desire. Once you reach enlightenment both wholesome and unwholesome desires are of course given up. There is a sutta given by Ananda on this topic if anyone has the link.

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Desire for Enlightenment

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:37 pm

:thumbsup:

Good to see two affirmative responses already. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say that enlightenment is not to be desired (a misconception, in my opinion). Certainly if it becomes an obsession, it could be counter-productive, but in general, I think it is a wholesome desire.

Chanda: intention, desire, will; zeal

3. As a good quality it is a righteous will or alertness dhamma-chanda and occurs, e.g. in the formula of the 4 right efforts see: padhāna The Bhikkhu rouses his will chandam janeti...; If intensified, it is one of the 4 roads to power see: iddhipāda

Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.
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Re: Desire for Enlightenment

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:53 pm

Hello all,

A little from Ajahn Chah:

"Why is the practice so difficult and arduous? Because of desires.
As soon as we sit down to meditate we want to become peaceful. If we didn't want to find peace we wouldn't sit, we wouldn't practice. As soon as we sit down we want peace to be right there, but wanting the mind to be calm makes for confusion, and we feel restless. This is how it goes. So the Buddha says, "Don't speak out of desire, don't sit out of desire, don't walk out of desire,...Whatever you do, don't do it with desire." Desire means wanting. If you don't want to do something you won't do it. If our practice reaches this point we can get quite discouraged. How can we practice? As soon as we sit down there is desire in the mind. It's because of this that the body and mind are difficult to observe. If they are not the self nor belonging to self then who do they belong to? It's difficult to resolve these things, we must rely on wisdom. The Buddha says we must practice with "letting go," isn't it? If we let go then we just don't practice, right?...Because we've let go.

Suppose we went to buy some coconuts in the market, and while we were carrying them back someone asked:
"What did you buy those coconuts for?"
"I bought them to eat."
"Are you going to eat the shells as well?"
"No."
"I don't believe you. If you're not going to eat the shells then why did you buy them also?"

Well what do you say? How are you going to answer their question?
We practice with desire. If we didn't have desire we wouldn't practice. Practicing with desire is //tanha//.

Contemplating in this way can give rise to wisdom, you know. For example, those coconuts:
Are you going to eat the shells as well? Of course not. Then why do you take them? Because the time hasn't yet come for you to throw them away. They're useful for wrapping up the coconut in. If, after eating the coconut, you throw the shells away, there is no problem. Our practice is like this.

The Buddha said, "Don't act on desire, don't speak from desire, don't eat with desire." Standing, walking, sitting or reclining...whatever...don't do it with desire. This means to do it with detachment. It's just like buying the coconuts from the market. We're not going to eat the shells but it's not yet time to throw them away. We keep them first. This is how the practice is. Concept and Transcendence [*] are co-existent, just like a coconut. The flesh, the husk and the shell are all together. When we buy it we buy the whole lot. If somebody wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells that's their business, we know what we're doing. "
- Food for the heart.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Desire for Enlightenment

Postby puthujjana » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:03 pm

Ven. Ananda wrote:"'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.' The thought occurs to him, 'I hope that I, too, will — through the ending of the fermentations — enter & remain in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for myself in the here & now.' Then, at a later time, he abandons craving, having relied on craving. 'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

- AN 4.159
______________
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"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."
- Ajahn Chah
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Re: Desire for Enlightenment

Postby bodom » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:05 pm

This is from Analayo's Satipatthana commentary containing Ananda's quote i was looking for.

At S V 272, Ananda countered the proposal that to overcome desire using desire would be a task without end with the argument that the desire for realization will automatically subside once realization is gained. Similarly, according to A 11 145, it is on the basis of "craving" (for the destruction of the influxes) that craving (in general) will be overcome. Also Sn 365, where the Buddha spoke approvingly of someone longing to attain nibbana. The importance of "desire" as an aspect of the path leading to realization is also exemplified in the canonical presentation of the four roads to power (iddhipadda), one of which is desire (chanda).

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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