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What is it you desire? Fame, fortune, peace, comfort, safety, security, travel, beauty, friendship, freedom, love, happiness, enlightenment, knowledge, or possibly just a few of the 'ten thousand things'? Can you notice that desires are just passing thoughts, they come and go. Can you also see that desires arise from the egoic sense that something is lacking or missing? Have you already noticed that fulfilling a desire only provides a temporary reprieve and is soon replaced with another, different desire?

Unable to pinpoint the problem we look for changes to relieve our suffering, and we begin to search outside of ourselves. Commonly, we desire for either more or less of something we believe will bring happiness. When, after years of limited success at best, we realize that this approach of chasing desires doesn’t succeed but only results in only more suffering.

Spiritual teachings describe that our natural state is one of happiness (contentment). Somewhere within ourselves, from a distant memory, an impulse, or a longing of the heart, we recognize this to be true, and we desire to live the fullness of our potential. We also notice that in our everyday experience something seems lacking. When our lives are being lived in a manner inconsistent with the natural state we experience suffering, a dissatisfaction with what is being perceived, a rejection of the experience in the moment. So arises a desire to end suffering.


If we are fortunate, we learn that it is possible to have a fuller experience of ourselves and that there are teachings that might provide some guidance. In addition to the ancient and revered teachings, it has been seen that psychodynamic issues & distortions in our thinking and feeling have contributed to our loss of sustained contact with this natural state of contentment. So desire shifts from looking outside of oneself to looking within. 

It might be helpful to distinguish between egoic desires and a deeper experience that we call 'longing'. It's difficult to describe longing, but it can be recognized, known, and felt. It may be a calling of the heart that hearkens back in memory to a sense of origination, of innocence, of being merged with God - or even nothingness. It's like hearing a familiar echo of the soul, a siren's song, a call from beyond to join the mystery of being. Do not confuse this inner calling, this longing, with everyday desires. Longing is calling you back to your true self.


We can see that desire can be both an obstacle to our awakening and a motivation for the journey of self-discovery. 





Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside. Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world. Give up the notion that 'I am so and so'. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?

~ Ramana Maharshi

Spirituality is really only about various degrees of Silence and Stillness.

The rest is ego and desire for Experience.

~ Adyashanti


All movements in life are driven by the search for happiness. That even though we may not be aware of it at the time, when various longings, desires, or needs, or wants arise here, even though we may not be aware of these at the time. A desire for something is really a desire for peace. We follow these promises for the future. We actually do get moments, moments of peace, moments of happiness, moments of kindness or generosity. But then something arises again. Something is not quite settled.

~ Neelam


Even my desire to become free or enlightened is just another craving for fulfillment or completion in the future. 

~ Eckhart Tolle

No object of desire is real, no object of desire is worth your Peace. If your house is desires, burn it down. It is only the absence of desire that makes you happy, so allow no desire to rise. Just allow yourself to be dissolved by Love. When there is no desire there is Love and Beauty. If you do desire, then only desire Peace, because what you think you will become : Water poured in the Ocean becomes the Ocean. 

~ Papaji 

Desire nothing except desirelessness. Hope for nothing except to rise above all hopes. Want nothing and you will have everything.

~ Meher Baba


Desire refers not only to desiring some object, but even to the desire for enlightenment.

The need to know, to have the knowledge of one's true nature, even that is a desire and that desire is by the "me".

~ Ramesh Balsekar


If you want to see God, kill desires. Desires are in the mind. When you have a desire for something, don't act on it and it will go away. If you desire to drink this cup of tea, don't, and the desire for it will go away.

~ Neem Karoli Baba


Thoughts create all desires and desires can be all-consuming. Your mind can convince you that attaining a particular object of desire will make you happy. The truth is that when your mind is still, a natural feeling of happiness arises within you. Your true nature is causeless and living causeless happiness is your natural state of being. When a desire is satisfied, the desire subsides and mind rests for a period. The absence of desire, the absence of thought, allows what is within to be experienced.

~ Jac O'Keeffe


When the mind is full of worldly desires, it is their very nature to confuse the mind. Withdraw the mind from outer things and turn it inwards.

~ Anandamayi Ma

Find your greatest desire. Once you found it, realize this: this is your greatest weakness, your most gaping illusion, the core of your false identity and the source of whatever absence of peace you experience. My greatest desire is to understand. Why is this a weakness? Because it assumes that the "true" I does not understand. It presumes ignorance ... it is SELF rejecting. For many of us, the greatest desire is to be liked by others. Explore this one. See how it makes you a Pleaser, see how it makes you abandon what is true in your immediate experience. Another is power. The drive for power connotes that the SELF is weak ... another delusion. See if this isn't true.

~ Eric Gross


Fear and desire are two ends of the same stick. If you are afraid of being hurt, then you desire not to be hurt. If you are afraid that you're going to be rejected, then you desire acceptance. So fear is like desire, based on a rejection of what is now. . . .  Fear of death is ultimately fear of life, or desire for it. 

~ A H Almaas


Ask yourself, “What is the real motive behind everything I do, think, want?” You’ll see that your real desire is to be desireless. Your real desire is peace. In all the various situations of your life you are continually seeking desirelessness, but you remain unconvinced of the fact that the desired object never keeps its promise. Once a desired object is obtained you experience momentary peace. But later this same object leaves you indifferent. 

~ Jean Klein


All desires are lies in that

They promise a lasting payoff.

Desirelessness is the truth in that

There is nothing to be gained and

Nothing to be lost.

~ Wu Hsin


All desires actually end in freedom. Your desire is fulfilled and you are empty. The emptiness brings you happiness, but it is unconscious. You attribute your happiness to a possession, not the emptiness. It is the freedom from desire that gives you happiness.

~ Papaji


The end of desire is the end of sorrow.

~ Gautama Buddha

Happiness arises from within. It is a quality of your innate nature. Thoughts distract you from consciously abiding in and enjoying your innate nature. Thoughts create all desires and desires can be all-consuming. Your mind can convince you that attaining a particular object of desire will make you happy. The truth is that when your mind is still, a natural feeling of happiness arises within you. Your true nature is causeless and living causeless happiness is your natural state of being. When a desire is satisfied, the desire subsides and mind rests for a period. The absence of desire, the absence of thought, allows what is within to be experienced.

~ Jac O'Keeffe

The greatest wealth is a poverty of desires.

~ Seneca


Live in the moment. 

Can you be unhappy in the moment?

The only reason you're unhappy 

is because you're thinking about something you do not like 

or something you desire or fear. True?

You're thinking about something from the past

or some worry or concern or fear about the future. 

That is the only reason you're sad or unhappy. 

But if you learn to become aware Now, 

how can you possibly be unhappy? 

Because Now is bliss. 

Just don't think. Experience Now.

If you're really not thinking and you're experiencing Now, 

you're in bliss. 

Now is Reality. 

Now is ultimate Oneness.

Now is absolute. 

Now is freedom / liberation.

~ Robert Adams

We were born happy. We lost it. We were born with the gift of life. We lost it. We’ve got to rediscover it. Why did we lose it? Because we were working actively. They taught us to work actively, no make ourselves miserable. How did they do that? Be teaching us to become attached. By teaching us to have desires so intense that we should refuse to be happy unless they were fulfilled.

~ Anthony De Mello


One of the happiest moments ever is when you find the courage to let go of whayou can’t change.

– Pema Chödrön

The very desire to be certain, to be secure, is the beginning of bondage. It’s only when the mind is not caught in the net of certainty, and is not seeking certainty, that it is in a state of discovery.

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti


So what of the desire for safety and security? The interim solution is to recognize it for what it is....a desire. And as with all desires it may be satisfied or not. Sometimes you feel safe and secure, sometimes you don't.  The feeling has little to do with the actual state of things. Ultimately beneath the desire for safety and security is the deep yearning for Peace...a Peace that is not conditional and thus does not come and go. Such Peace is the recognition that all is unfolding perfectly as part of a vast and unknowable functioning. It is the Peace of what we Are.

~ Wayne Liquorman


When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more, and be happy.

~ Hafez


The fundamental conflict in the spiritual quest is that ego desires spiritual enlightenment but ego can never achieve spiritual enlightenment. Self cannot achieve no self.

~ Jed McKenna


Striving and craving,

For pleasure or prosperity,

These are your enemies,

Springing up to destroy you

From the presumptions of virtue.

Let them all go.

Hold on to nothing.

Every good fortune,

Wives, friends, houses, lands,

All these gifts and riches...

They are a dream,

A juggling act,

A traveling show!

A few days, and they are gone.


Wherever there is desire,

There is the world.

With resolute dispassion

Free yourself from desire,

And find happiness.

~ Ashtavakra Gita


Consciousness means choicelessness,

and to be choiceless is to be free from all desire,

is to be free from all projection,

is to be free from all imagination,

is to be free from future.

~ Osho


Longing is just a prayer from stillness. Go back to the longing and say yes. We want the longing to soar like a bird. Stay with the longing and invite Grace to resolve it.

~ Pamela Wilson

As you consider this perception of oneness, you will see that in a very deep place in you, in the deepest part of your heart, there is a very deep grief, the deepest wound, the wound of the separation from oneness. And there is longing in our hearts, the deepest longing, the deepest yearning. The most powerful desire we have, in the deepest part of our hearts, is the longing to cease as a separate individual; to be united, to see that there is really only one because it is our ultimate nature. , , , What will make your heart dance in happiness is this perception of oneness, your direct knowledge of the unity of yourself and everything in one nature.

~ A.H. Almaas


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