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Eight-Fold Path Explained: Intention and Desire

The Buddha said:

“To be free from the passions and to be calm, this is the most excellent way”

“Those who have passions are never able to perceive the way, for it is like stirring up clear water with hands. “

With waves on the water you will not see the reflection of the magnificent mystery that is reality. When the waves, the thoughts, have settled you will feel wonder, togetherness, divinity, and bliss in every moment that your consciousness reflects the reality around you. Reflect fully, magnificently, without interference. 

With this feeling of bliss, naturally comes desirelessness. What is often lost, what fails to become understood, is that desirelessness cannot be desired. This paradox alone can create a lifetime of failure in you. I speak of desirelessness only to show you but not to lure you into the desire for this. This phenomenon occurs only when the mind has dropped, when the waves have settled, and the reflection is clear.

When the reflection is clear and bliss has a moment to arise, there is no need for desire. Desire is merely a result of your poor reflection, your misunderstanding. Your need to find bliss where bliss is not. However your desires only lead you astray. Your mind is not wise. It is blind and dumb and clouded. It knows that it wishes to feel happiness but is unclear where to find it. That is because the thinking mind is what prevents happiness. It cannot know that happiness lies on the other side of thinking because the mind is always thinking, it has never experienced it. However now you have planted a seed in the mind, telling it that it must self-destruct in order to feel peace. 

Even with that seed you will have resistance. The mind is also the ego. The ego finds importance in itself. The mind carries the past and all the memories. The mind is very attached to itself. In your lifetime it might even decide that it’s preservation is more important than happiness. That the constant chatter is more important. However, ultimately, this is your choice.

What is to be understood is that the person who drops the mind does not drop the ability to mind. The person that drops the mind simply has the ability to drop the mind, knowing that this will bring peace. This will bring about the ability to feel the beauty of the world and existence without disturbance. This person understands that all the desires for more than what is necessary for survival are futile. They may prefer one thing over another, one house or one person over another, however they do not allow a desire to create ripples. They feel bliss in mere existence and are aware that desire is just another ripple on the surface preventing bliss.

However a person who can drop the mind will still use the mind. Even the Buddha still used the mind to create lessons, to remember the names and the faces of his family and disciples. This must be understood, otherwise you will reject the notion that the mind can be dropped. That the mind can drop itself. 

When the mind realizes that it can be used when it is needed, it will be more likely to budge. It will be more likely to stop. Now it is nervous. Constantly moving in fear that if it stops it will be lost forever. It will be there when you need it, as walking will be there when you need it. Walking constantly is just as disturbing to your peace as thinking constantly. Both can be started, both can be stopped.

When the mind is stopped and bliss begins to blossom, your desire for excess will vanish. It will become futile and irrelevant. All that you will need is the fulfillment of only what is needed for survival. This is what Buddha calls right livelihood. The need for food, shelter, love. These needs can be fulfilled. However, more than fulfillment of these needs leads you into an endless abyss of desires that once, if ever, acquired will only lead you to the next. An endless cycle.