In our last blog we said that craving can be overcome by the diligent practice of nonattached awareness. As we do this we become able to distinguish between addictive craving and healthy desire. We can then live in the heart of desire rather than in the mind of craving. If we are able to experience desire without attachment to results and without always acting on it then we begin to gain clarity as to which desires should be acted upon and which ones are best left alone. We become like the surfer who enters the ocean and just watches the waves come in until he finds the one that he wants to ride.
Rather than being preoccupied with the object of desire we can enter into the experience of the desire itself by exploring our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. We see the desire itself rather than seeing through eyes clouded by desire. We allow desire to be the object of awareness rather than the subject. This practice allows us to experience the deeper essence of desire itself.
As we live in the heart of desire rather than in the mind of craving the force that motivates us will gradually shift. Rather than being driven solely by self-gratification we find that we “march to the tune of a different drummer.”
Our personal desires become aligned with the universal good.
Just as every cell in a healthy body is aligned with the greater good of the body itself, we see that we are all cells in a larger body. This larger body is not formed by religion, politics, ethnicity or economic interests but rather by our common humanity. For some, the body extends even beyond humanity to embrace all life on earth—including the earth itself.
With the simile of each individual as a cell in a larger body egocentric craving could be seen as a form of cancer wherein individual cells selfishly multiply and consume the body rather than support its overall health and wellbeing. Self-centered craving is a form of malignancy that is detrimental to the larger web of life. This malignancy is the cause of a wide variety of ecological, economic and social crises facing humankind today.
As our personal desires are aligned with the universal good we become aligned with that which some call the Divine Will, and others call the Evolutionary Impulse. Whatever name we ascribe to it, it becomes the overwhelming desire of our heart. This desire is not craving to save the world or to avenge the injustices of evildoers but to simply do that which makes your heart sing. The deepest desire of your heart is to align your heart with the flow of the One Life as it seeks its unique expression though you.
Attuned to this universal flow of life we see that we are not the doers of our deeds; we are but the channels through which the universe evolves into new dimensions of experience. Our work is to stay awake and to listen to our hearts. Our work is to surrender to the great current of life flowing through us and as us-- and then do what is ours to do.