I don’t remember much from world religions class in high school, but I do remember that a central idea in Buddhism is: Desire is the root of suffering.
I’ve been thinking about this concept as of late, and am trying to put it into practice. No, I’m not Buddhist. But I think there is something to it. How often do we go around wanting things and torturing ourselves because we don’t have them, can’t have them?
Whether it’s the trophy husband/wife, dream job/fellowship/scholarship, financial life, social life etc. I think a lot of people fall into this pit. Did I?
hmmm not sure, but I’m trying to rearrange my priorities. Maybe I will have a better attitude about life if I can try to think about things within this prism. As a believer, His grace/provenance and guidance should be enough.
Maybe I hate my host family because I desired too much, maybe I tire myself out with the unnecessary pressure I put on myself for things that are beyond my control to a large extent. Maybe I regret my educational pursuits, because there is something in human nature that always makes us see that the grass is greener on the other side, that makes us question our choices in 20/20 hindsight. And don’t even get me started on social/romantic choices.
All of that is a thing of the past. Desire is the root of suffering is my new mantra… although I wonder, could the opposite be true? Could suffering be the root of desire? Could you need to feel the burn in life in order to push yourself harder, to be faster, stronger, wiser?
Today I put up a facebook status, that was basically my realization of two important facts. 1. For every year since 2004, I have spent at least 1 month abroad. 2. Each of these experiences in turn, made me appreciative of the fact that no matter what, America is the place I call home. Some of these trips at least, involved real, raw suffering. They made me desire to be back in the place that I perhaps otherwise would have taken for granted… even though it too is/was filled with it’s own sets of obstacles…sigh. That’s life folks. Can’t live with her, can’t live without her, (does that even make sense?)
At any rate, I will see what I will discover in the next few weeks and months, from here on out, I’m trying to desire as little as possible. He who expects nothing is never disappointed. I don’t know if Buddha said that… but something to keep in mind.
I’m not going to turn into some ascetic or anything, but I’ve been needing a fresh page for a long time… I don’t know if this is it… but here goes nothing. Which is what I desire.