By Wayne Hoover
Sitting in meditation tonight I couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted to be different. I wanted this person to be there or I wanted that noise to stop or this or that pain to go away. My mind kept creating all these desires- all these wants. Sometimes desires would be somewhat hidden in the form of ‘it sure would be nice’ statements: “It sure would be nice if the whole house was meditating right now-” or sometimes my desires would arise as questions: “Why doesn’t that person stop playing the drums- don’t they know its time to meditate?”
To me my desires are very rational- they make perfect sense- and these “rational desires” can be a big problem in meditation. My mind believes in the correctness of its desires. It seems like my mind can come up with 100’s of different reasons why its justified in having a certain desire. In the case of todays meditation I kept having the desire for everyone in the house to be meditating with me. The thought loop of rationalizing was triggered by the desire to have the whole house meditating together. It was such a “noble” desire that I couldn’t easily put it down. It makes so much sense to my mind to be live with people who all meditate together- it is such a nice desire to have because it aligns with so much of who my mind thinks it is. My mind likes to think of its self as a “meditator.” So a desire for others to meditate with it fulfills a deeper desire of the mind- the need for identification. The mind wants to feel like it exists- and the best way to feel like it exists is if it feels like others are acknowledging it. So by having more people meditating with me my mind then further strengthens the idea that it is a “meditator.” In other words- the mind loves to show off- it gives it a sense of existence.
In the end all this desiring and rationalizing why the desire was OK only accomplished one thing: it brought me away from what actually was going on. Instead of being present and peaceful with what was- I was desiring and thinking about my desires of what wasn’t. The phrase: “What we want clouds what is” is the phrase that snapped me out of this thought loop and brought me back to the present moment. It rings so true for me- “what we want clouds what is-” meaning that my desires stopped me from being truly present to what was happening. I was so concerned with what wasn’t that I wasn’t with what was.
How will this help me in my daily life? This realization (if it can be called that) has shown me how time consuming and depleting righteous desires can be- that these type of desires are the ones I should be extra careful. All desires seem to do is take me out of the moment- and that is to detract from the blissful experience of just being. On a deep level to desire -really is- to suffer- more and more this becomes clear.