Monday, April 21, 2008

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche on Desire

On Thursday evening, Rinpoche offered a dharma talk on DESIRE and how it can be transformed into Bliss Void [or the union of Bliss and Emptiness] which is All Discriminating Wisdom.

He began by teaching that, before we attempt to transcend Desire altogether, we could at least acknowledge that for now we are Samsaric beings. And as such we have desire. However, we can skilfully use that habitual impulse for good.

We could develop a strong desire to avoid harming oursleves and others altogether - and in time develop an equally strong desire to use our body, speech and mind only to benefit the world.

We should allow ourselves first to become a good, solid, stable samsaric being!

However, we cannot overcome Desire [Attachment] altogether until we are able to view it as just another Klesha [Mind Poison] and apply the same methods as before. Right now, Desire is strong and we view it out of proportion as something special, above the others.

Right from birth, we mistakenly experience the natural openness/emptiness of our mind as a kind of vacuum that surely needs to be filled by something. We mistakenly view this as a problem that needs to be solved instead of just letting it be. So, in our confused ignorant state, we experience our reality as a kind of suffering that we try to avoid. So we strive for anything we feel might make us happy [even temporarily].

Then we slip into an all-too-familiar cycle. If we manage to obtain/possess nice experiences, either we fear losing that or we are disappointed by it and nolonger want it. So, we may eventually come to see Desire as having nothing but potential pain for us.

Rinpoche noted that Buddha had said that one good side to Desire is that at least it provides us with the necessary impetus to want the best outcome for ourselves and maybe others. All that remains is to discover just exactly what the best outcome is.

The worst side of Desire, however, is the stronger our craving the more problems arise.
In our search for happiness and fulfilment, we only discover the world cannot deliver.
We are never satisfied and the underlying deep impulse 'What about me!... I want... I don't want...!' spins us out of control.

Rinpoche then quoted [i didn't get who] -
The Mind is Empty. Nothing can fill it.

It seems also, from a worldly point of view, people are living longer and have more than ever. But spiritually we have less and less and our lives are impoverished.

The teachings clearly remind us Contentment is the greatest wealth! This is what we desire most - simply to be content, right here, right now.
So we crave and grasp onto whatever we feel might bring that contentment - forgetting the root of all contentment is already present within us.

Unlike anger, desire is not short-lived.
It is not like a burst of flame that soon subsides.

Desire is like water that has spilled - it spreads everywhere and is very difficult to completely mop up.

Rinpoche warned, the ultimate outcome of desire - because it can never be satisfied - is that our constant craving will eventually drive us quite mad!

The Buddhadharma shows us experientially that we can be totally happy right now in this very moment -

Everything is OK

Enlightenment or Buddhahood is not some far-off goal
It is possible here and now by dwelling deeply in the present moment

As Jesus put it - The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Discriminating Wisdom is when we see phenomena clearly - as they really are -
Discovering from our own experience that Perfect Bliss already resides within.

So we don't actually become enlightened -

we simply reveal to ourselves how we have mistakenly perceived everything all along -
we look directly at desire
see how futile it is
allow it to drop
allow wisdom to emerge
and let bliss arise instead


  1. thank you so much for sharing this with us! Those teachings answer my present needs so well.

  2. Hi Bruno,
    I just read your blog on desire and found it great.
    I hope you are keeping well.

    All the best,
    Steve (Rigpa)