Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Buddha - One of The Greatest Teachings of . . .

There is so much to learn and relearn in life. There are so many great lessons to be learned from some of the world's greatest teachers that I am in awe every day when I read something I have read a hundred times before - and it still makes that powerful connection and forces itself through layers of stuff I have shielding my heart.

Here's one that makes a connection every time I read it. For a little background, I probably fit this mold of "overachiever" and "what I wear makes the man" thing, as well as a dozen other little character defects (dozen? Ha!)

Anyway, back to Buddha . . .

One of Buddha's greatest contributions to mankind is his teaching of; "desire creates suffering."

This confused me when I read it and I immediately discarded it as "rubbish." This is because I am a big believer in getting and getting is done through desire, willpower, and goal-setting.

How I am resolving the conflict I have with this is; It means that we need to accept where we are right now and enjoy what we already have.

This enables me to experience joy right now where I am and with what I have, rather waiting for it or thinking I will get something that will create the joy or happiness I believe I want or need. Or believing that if events or someone will just change, then I will have joy.

This is another one of those "detaching" things I am working on. My defect is the belief of; "If I just get this or achieve that, then I will be happy." This is a psychological shift - that if I get those new pair of shoes, this will create happiness. Except, as we all know, the new shoes we buy, does create a false or fleeting happiness. This is because eventually the new shoes become old shoes (at least they become "not new" about a week or two later).

And we identify with the shoes - briefly for our happiness. And we identify with the "getting" of things and believe if I just get this or that, I will be happy again or some more. So, a week later, I want something else, to give me this happiness or joy - albeit fleeing.

This is the "desire" I believe Buddha was trying to teach.

Life is not about getting. Wow. I cannot believe I wrote that. I am not even sure I can swallow that. Intellectually, I understand it. Emotionally, I am having a difficult time with it. My emotions are wired for getting and achieving.

And, as I write here, in this very moment, I am thinking this; If I don't get, what happens? If I believe life is getting, what if I don't get? Ouch! I get it! (Pun intended - I can never be too serious too long - another defect).

Now, how do I rewire myself? And just accept that . . .

Life is.


My Room said...

Have you read "A New Earth" by Echart Tolle. This book really helped me with staying in the moment and enjoying the now.

Joe said...

Yes My Room. I am rerereading it. Especially the detaching by staying present. But it is hard to practice! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

1st things that come to mind:

Brunettes want to be blondes...

The grass is always greener on the other side...

The old TV show "Let's Make a Deal", always wondering what might be behind the other 2 curtains...

A prayer I say everyday includes these words:

"Give us this day, our daily bread".

Not 10 loafs, or a semi truck full, just enough for today, in the present. Those simple words have a tremendous impact on my daily life, I am becoming more and more thankful for all that I HAVE, and not what I DON'T have, or CAN'T have.

Peace this Wed.


Syd said...

For me, it's about acceptance. If I can accept those things that I currently have and not wish and want for a lot more, then I'm doing okay. All the things that I think I want don't really add up to what I need.

Anonymous said...

I mentioned a children's book about Zen Buddhism in my post yesterday. The author's note at the end of the book states the following,

"The Buddha's method of meditation was to sit very still, yet remain completely alert, allowing first one thought and then another to rise and pass away, holding on to none of them.
When you look into a pool of water, if the water is still, you can see the moon reflected. If the water is agitated, the moon is fragmented and scattered. It is harder to see the true moon. Our minds are like that. When our minds are agitated, we can not see the true world."

I sometimes imagine the things that bother me as balloons and then imagine those balloons floating away one by one. Incidentally this works for the pain of some of the weaker migraine headaches I get. I imagine the pain is the balloon. If not there's always Imitrex.

While we're on the subject of "desire creates suffering", has anyone else ever pondered that most western religions imply inner peace/salvation comes from experiencing suffering, while eastern religions imply eliminating suffering (desire) leads to inner peace/salvation.


bob said...


"ALANON SHOKEN HERE. Keep the focus on our program"

Budda is a religios figure -- you open the door to all others. I think this post should be deleted.

Anonymous said...


Alanon Spoken Here -- keep the focus on our program.

Buddha is a religious figure.

Shall I enter a few nice things that Jesus taught in the Gospels, too????????

Anonymous said...

Joe, I am confused. Just to clarify is this

1. an alanon meeting?


2. Joe's own blog of his personal experience he is so unselfishly sharing with others to help them, which happens to contain a lot of very helpful alanon in it?

Personally I woud prefer 2. Either way I appreciate your posts Joe. This blog has been extremely helpful to me and I will continue to read. Thank you.


Joe said...

Hello this is Joe - this is not an Al-Anon meeting ... this is just some of my experience, strength and hope AND fears, and anxiety -

It is not perfect - and I mean no harm to any religion, sect, nationality or those who have none of the above.

I am open to all and accepting of all. And I appreciate the opinions expressed here where we all can share and be honest.

PS - I purchased the ZEN book.
PPS - I am reading the Bible, I am reading other religious writings and philosphy and there are more things in common than there are differences.
PPPS - I see the interconnectedness of everyone and in everything.