… desire is then discernment.
Generally speaking, in Buddhism, we talk about desire and aversion as being negative and unskillful. However, this is only the starting level to understanding how ignorance of our true nature causes us suffering; it does this through awareness being distracted by desire and aversion (hope and fear). Traditionally, in Buddhism, these are known as the three poisons.
As humans, we are obsessed by excessive activity and become addicted, which influences our actions. Thus, we are encased in a personality, an habitual patterning, an avatar; “an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea”. It’s that old (very old) reptilian brain at work again 😀
More importantly, governments and the corporate world use these same principles to ensnare people by promoting fears and hopes. We then over react, becoming either too tight or too loose … wound up or run down … outraged or indifferent.
Being aware of this phenomenon, these poisons now become wisdoms. That’s the Buddha in the mud!
When desire is discernment – or discriminating awareness – desire is precise and skilful. We know exactly what is needed. Having a sharp, efficient tool makes the job easier, and it’s the same with a sharp mind – a discerning mind! And, above all, a compassionate mind. A desire to practice correctly, effortlessly speeds our journey as we learn to look more closely, opening up possibilities. This also applies to aversion: through the tool of discrimination, we recognise what is harmful and distracting.
As long as we use desire and aversion as skilful tools – traditionally known as “skilful means” – and apply the chosen method precisely, when the job is done, we put the tool down and ‘let go’.
And all is well.
The Buddha taught what we already know but hadn’t noticed because we had become too dull or too excited. What did he teach? He taught how to turn awareness into pure awareness!
How? He ‘Pointed Out’ that when awareness (which is natural to all creatures), through instruction, looks in on itself in meditation and finds nothing, there is merely awareness. Simply being aware. There no ‘me’ in the sense of ‘me being aware’, as that takes time to relate to, and so we move away from nowness. When we move from nowness to relate to something – a ‘me’, for instance – we arrive at relative truth; a conventional mistake. We are pure awareness itself.
Nowness is timelessness.
There is no time for ‘me’, because timeless awareness is ever now. To consider ‘me’ means to create time away from timelessness.
Timeless awareness is embodied in a temporary form through ignorance of itself. It becomes involved in phenomena, and forgets.
When it remembers,
it finds its heart’s desire!