Motivation question

This Good Self, modified 11 Years ago at 4/14/13 10:46 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/14/13 9:49 PM

Motivation question

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
One way of spiritual progress, according to Nissagardatta, is to pay no attention to desire or fear.

How then does one act in the world? How can one do anything at all if it's not for desire? What action or behaviour would ever happen if not for desire for more pleasure/comfort or the desire for less discomfort.

Is there a second attention that comes in to direct behaviour? Maybe that's it.

My experience is that purposeful, goal-directed, desire-driven behaviour is the only effective antidote to depression. To not behave this way will invite depression and sickness. To kill two birds with the one stone, one can act purposefully on desires whilst simultaneously observing the process. That way there's no depression, but there's also spiritual growth. Awareness is made easier to practice because there's more comfort and pleasure and happiness. As awareness grows, desire/fear falls away until it no longer drives your whole life. I like this. I think this is the way to live.
Richard Zen, modified 11 Years ago at 4/14/13 10:58 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/14/13 10:58 PM

RE: Motivation question

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
There's a difference between a monk and the general public. I don't think desire is a problem if you are not clinging to it. It's possible to aim desire in healthy ways because if you're understanding what is a good desire and what is a bad one then those good desires should be more satisfying than denying desire altogether. There's also desire in the meditation path which I'm sure everyone sees.

Desire is mainly looking at the positive characteristics of what is desirable long enough for the desire to create motivation. By practicing looking at the three characteristics you shouldn't get to the point that you give up on life. You just let go of making anything permanent. Anger is a useful emotion if it's channelled into a positive action. Skillful fabrications like concentration are okay as long as they aren't clung to.

This is not Buddhist and comes from many self-help books, but also in practice I only feel unhealthy if I have an unhealthy desire. If I have a healthy desire it doesn't feel sick at all, in fact just the opposite. All of us have core values and desires, and to achieve them can be increased by dwelling on the benefits of the good things we desire. Procrastination comes from dwelling mainly on the negative things so we don't do it. Things that are related to virtue and success are okay to desire. It's no different from those who play sports and imagine the right moves before they get to play the game and their performance improves when they are actually playing and acting out the moves. Keep dwelling on the positive reasons for pursuing a desire (that's healthy) and do it until it gets you to act on motivation which happens if you dwell on the positive characteristics long enough. No willpower needed.

Most importantly we have many desires and what we dwell on that is more short-term (and probably useless desires) will compete with your core values. To develop dispassion for the bad habits and to dwell on the good things worth doing should help one find what is worth sacrificing and what is worth devoting time to develop good habits.

Just IMHO. emoticon

Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
T DC, modified 11 Years ago at 4/14/13 11:05 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/14/13 11:05 PM

RE: Motivation question

Posts: 520 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Well, personally I would say follow the desire for enlightenment, that's the one desire that is truly worthwhile to try to satisfy. As for other desires, clearly it's not helpful to repress them, but I would say it's also not skillful to act on them all the time. There has to be some balance; the Buddhist path is called the middle way for a reason.

If you can sit with your desires when they come up and just feel them, feel the intense energy of them and let them peak and pass, that is a good way to deal with them. It's like you're walking on a path, and ahead of you there's a fire that's been built in the middle of the path. You can't go around it; if you want to progress on the path you have to go through it. If you are too intimidated to go through you will stay in the same place, right next to the fire, getting burned. Better to just go through the fire and be done with it and keep going.