Saturday, July 15, 2006

"We are living in a realm of desire"

"Because our eyes, ears, nose, and so forth are the very gateways of desire, those wishing to break free and achieve liberation from this circle of suffering are encouraged to become especially distrustful of the five physical senses...

"When following this type of training we combat the tendency of running blindly after objects of attachment, and thereby falling victim to pain and disappointment, by teaching ourselves to focus on those aspects of the object that will reduce our desire for it. For instance, we can neutralize our longing for a beautiful person by concentrating on the unclean parts of his or her body... =)

"Compared to a system like tantra, which actually uses the energy of desire, this cautious approach to the spiritual path is considered inferior. But this is not to say that such an approach has no value...

"Tantra's approach is very different. Instead of viewing pleasure and desire as something to be avoided at all costs, tantra recognizes the powerful energy aroused by our desires to be an indispensable resource for the spiritual path. Because the goal is nothing less than the realization of our highest human potential, tantra seeks to transform every experience - no matter how "unreligious " it may appear- into the path of fulfillment. It is precisely because our present life is so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire's tremendous energy if we wish to transform our life into something trascendental.

"Thus the logic of tantra is really very simple: our experience of ordinary pleasure can be used as the resource for attaining the supremely pleasurable experience of totality, or enlightenment... According to tantra, we cannot hope to attain our goal of universal and complete happiness by systematically making ourselves more and more miserable. This is contrary to the way things actually work. It is only by cultivating small experiences of calm and satisfaction now that we will be able to achieve our ultimate goal of peace and tranquility in the future. And similarly, it is only through the skillful use of desirous energy and by building up the habit of experiencing what we might call true pleasure that we can hope to achieve the everlasting bliss and joy of full illumination."

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