This week’s writing comes from Zen Master Ruben L.F. Habito and relates to our “inner pursuit of happiness”. He discusses the general nature of dissatisfaction that comes with being human and breaks this pursuit into three types of desires. He called these desires the acquisition mode.
The desire to have more is connected to our need to aquire more and more. Quoting Thomas Hine and David Loy, Master Habito discussed our use of “things” to cover up our possible insecurity, sense of lacking, escape and replacement for meaningful action (my thought is this points to laziness).
The desire to know more is connected to our current high tech and information age. He discusses how much knowledge is power today and how much man has become master over everything – environment, ecology, animals, even the human body. We now mindlessly flaunt this knowledge without thinking of the longterm consequences.
The desire for thrill and pleasure is connected to our insatiable appetite for television and web surfing. We clamor for the next big thing, sport competition, reality show. It also relates to the large consumption of drugs and alcohol. (My thought is this desire points to boredom).
Master Habito then discusses Buddha’s path which he referred to as a contemplative mode. He says living a contemplative life one can invert the three desires to awareness of being, nondual knowing and unconditional joy respectively. A contemplative practitioner would keep his or her focus in the present and the fullness of the moment. In this way, when walking into a store one still pays attention to the walking. Trying not to jump ahead to what he or she intends to purchase or dwell on what could have been such as a lost parking spot. A practitioner would realize that “we are the world” and practice engaging with the world as a mother towards her only child. Finally, a practitioner who turns away from an acquisition mode to a contemplative more would began to gain a sense of unconditional joy that arises from refraining from the impulses of desire.
This week consider how often you are in acquisition mode versus contemplative mode. Reflect on how these two modes affect the way you relate to the world, your life, or any given moment.
I’ll see you Thursday night. We’ll be down on the main floor, entry on the south of church. We’ll be taking time to discuss and decide about upstairs vs downstairs. And don’t forget to RSVP if you want to attend the planning meeting on Saturday November 8, 10 am to noon.