1 Mar
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The Dance of Desire

The Monday night Dancing with Life KM group has started reading Chapter 12: The Paradox of Desire. In it, Phillip Moffitt writes, “Being in the physical realm, you are undeniably involved with the energy of desire…This, then, is the paradox of desire–it leads to suffering when grasped after, yet without it there is no movement to tend to your child’s needs or to help your sick neighbor, or to free yourself from suffering.Thus, your challenge is not to rid yourself of desire, but rather to choose your desires wisely and respond skillfully

Desire always involves movement–either toward something pleasant, or away from something unpleasant. There is movement in desire whether you are reacting to something that is happening right now, thinking about the future, or even remembering the past. The frozen states of apathy, helplessness, cynicism, and depression have little movement and, therefore, little life. They are hindrances to freedom and well-being. Such wounded states of mind point to the necessity of movement for healthy life. They also reveal that you need healthy desire to provide the energy you need to seek liberation.

“To understand the relationship between movement and your desires, there are two refinements that I suggest you reflect upon. The first is to make the movement of your desire the object of your mindful attention. By focusing on the energetic movement, you can quickly determine if what you are being drawn toward or repulsed from is in line with your deepest values…..

“A second refinement for working with the energy of desire is to explore the great mystery of stillness. Stillness is not apathy or collapse; it is vibrant, fully alive energy. In stillness the movement is neither away from nor toward any object…

“By becoming aware of the moments of stillness in yourself (you do have them!) you gain the ability to clearly see your desire as movement. You see how desire arises naturally from causes and conditions and aren’t beguiled by it. You know that clinging to desire is not the freedom of stillness. You understand that in order to be free your challenge is to come to terms with desire and to cease to be attached to it.”

(image: Q-cards)

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