On Mindfulness

  • What is a difference between wanting a pair of Louboutin’s red-soled shoes and wanting to help a suffering person? What is a difference between wanting to climb Kilimanjaro and wanting to walk Camino de Compostela? What is a difference between wanting to eat a gourmet dinner and wanting to become an enlightened person? I can say that the main difference is in a judgment we put on these desires. I can add that the judgment is in a story we tell about them. A judgment and a story can differ. If the gourmet dinner is connected to a charity event it may be judged as something positive, if it is connected to a sheer whim it may meet a stronger criticism.

    But if we drop the story and the judgment, and redirect our attention closer to the body and examine only sensations and feelings a wanting provokes inside us we can be surprised discovering that whatever we want, truly want can actually create the same state of hunger, emptiness, being pulled or pushed; something uncomfortable. We all have our own ways of feeling a desire. So in spite of what the object of wanting is, if it is noble or mundane one, the feeling is the same. Yes I can see you protesting, but have you ever paid any attention to the feeling of wanting, have you ever sat with a desire without telling yourself some story about it? That’s not an easy thing. The best place to do it is in meditation, in a safe space of allowing and self-acceptance. And it is a rather advanced meditation, so you need some preparation to do that. Sitting with the feeling of desire and paying attention only to it is a transforming and liberating experience. Learn meditation.