On Letting Go of Desires

In the blog category “Website Content Feedback”, I will publish my answers to questions posed to me by users who use the website resources as well as their suggestions and feedback. I will be delighted to publish their experiences as well as testimonials wherever appropriate.

An online user who used my guided reflection practice called “On Letting Go” posed the following question: Why would we want to let go of all desires? Surely some of them are positive and we don’t want to be free of them.

We do have positive desires. However, the problem arises when we start to obsess about it, plan for it endlessly and then do not enjoy it when it comes true. My experience has been that when we let go of our desires, our core desires do not really go away. We just become free of its grasping nature. We are then free to pursue them out of our own free will rather than getting ensnared by them.

The guided reflection practice “On Letting Go” allows us to see the sheer turbulence that unfulfilled desires can create in our minds. We then have a choice to work with them in a skillful manner. We can have those desires, work towards achieving them but not lose a ton of energy in the process. Yet another insight that can arise in our minds is that most desires can never be satisfied, in the sense that as soon as we fulfill a desire, other desires immediately fill the space and we must start all over again.

This reflection practice does not deal just with our unfilled desires. It allows us to come face to face with our experience of suffering. Suffering can arise from anything we desire that we do not have or anything that we do have but do not want. It can take the form of any emotion or feeling like sadness, anger, jealousy, etc. In most instances, we suffer because we hold on to something. It could be our ego, our point of view or extensions of our ego. The reflection practice allows us to investigate whatever it is that we are holding on to and then gives us a chance to let go. It is very likely that letting go will end the experience of suffering that arose when we were trying to be mindful of our breath.

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