The 3 desires (Part 2 or 2)

Continuing from previous post….

The other 2 desires that Buddhist practitioners try to remove is

  • Desire for existence (becoming)
  • Desire for non-existence (nihilism)

Desire for existence is a wanting to become something. We want to be rich, to be liked, to be powerful; we want to become god, to experience existence, to be reborn in paradise, to become Buddha, to become an angel etc. That wanting, causes us to believe that there is something in us that remains the same. (a permanent soul) This notion of a “soul” is a conjecture that is built upon our human experience. Thus, different cultures at different period in time have different idea of soul. Buddhist avoid the “soul” idea because it is a conjecture of an ignorant mind.

Desire for non-existence is a wanting to annihilate. Opposite to the above, it is a desire that things cease to be. In its modern expression, its pop abbreviation “YOLO” (You only live once) is being touted as a prefered lifestyle. In this form, one believes that a person cease to exist after death. Therefore, one should enjoy life to the fullest,even if the actions may be slightly dangerous to one or others. Sometimes when one suffered extremely without any hope in mind, when we even hate ourselves, we may wish that everything will cease. In its darker side, one may wrongly conclude that suicide is a solution to annihilate all unhappiness. The fault with all these mental position is still rooted in the attachment to a self. There is an ‘I’ suffering, there is an “I” living the moment. Buddhist scriptures pointed out that to end suffering, we have to realise there is no “I” that is suffering. (again do not mistaken and take the position of nihilism)

From the previous post until here, are the 3 desires that causes rebirth.

To remove the 3 desires, we have to practice mind training.

1st step is to declutter our mind from confusion. Best achieved, when we engage in formal meditation or chanting. This step is the building of concentration power. By focusing on a meditative subject or a mantra, we guide our mind towards a pure state that is away from distracting thoughts and emotion. Pure state refers to state of Samadhi or Jhana.

2nd step is to build wisdom by relying on a strong mind (achieved through the 1st step) To build wisdom, we simply have to direct the trained mind to examine ourselves and the world around us. When we are learned with Buddha Dharma, we have a “manual”. It’s similar to being equipped with a shortcut that was left behind by Buddha.

May all be well and happy.