The function of desire-mind is to assist in recording choices that might be useful, good, and advantageous for us. Unfortunately, almost everything that desire-mind believes and considers important is based on things that happened, or didn’t happen, in our childhood, adolescence, or some other time in our lives when we felt emotionally attached to the outcome of an event. This portion of our mind is always attempting to decide if we like something or don’t like something, find an energy or person attractive or decide they are disgusting, unpleasant, and repulsive. These decisions are based in survival instinct. But what a child decides is repulsive (like spinach) and therefore a threat to their very existence is to an adult- well- simply childish.
Much of what we consider necessary for survival is only a preference, not a fact. Attraction and Aversion are the territory of Desire-mind. And most of us have not sifted through the decisions of early childhood or adolescence in order to make informed choices regarding life goals, food choices, relationship attractions, and dislikes or distasteful alternatives.
The Great Being within has the ability to navigate the stormy emotional waters of desire-mind by taking each situation, circumstance, and relationship encounter as they come, as they are, right here, right now and redefining what we think about them. Everything does not have to be compared to something from the past in order to know how to relate to it. Therefore, the Great Being can find equanimity where the child-self finds only confusion or partiality.
Even if we become determined to remain focused on the now, and hold to the present moment, it will not prevent desire-mind from throwing up thoughts, images, ideas, and emotions. These random experiences are called Arisings. An arising is simply a thought or image that comes to awareness. We have thousands, possibly millions, of these arisings daily. Most of this random firing of the brain cells remains unconscious and unnoticed. So when we do notice a thought, a memory, or an image, we immediately believe that it must be important, true, and have some meaning.
In order to get a feel for this concept take a few moments, settle into a comfortable position, and focus on breathing in slowly to the count of seven, then breathe slowly out to the count of seven. Try doing this for five minutes. Notice how many times desire-mind inserts a random thought so that you have to go back and remember to count to seven and focus on your breath. This is the experience of arising. Remember it is happening all the time, thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of times a day.
In the beginning when an individual notices these arisings the tendency is to believe that they are important and mean something. “Why would I be having this thought? Why would that image come to me? Why am I suddenly taken with an urge to eat something, drink something, or do something? It must be a message of some kind.” It is not unusual for an individual investigating the spiritual or mystical path to give credence to these random images believing they have made a breakthrough into ancient wisdom.
Meditation is the tried, true, and most authentic way to escape the maze of haphazard, indiscriminate, and arbitrary messages from desire-mind. Following the breath, a mantra, or simple visualization over and over again allows us to see that desire-mind will keep at it- keep throwing up images, voices, urges, and thoughts whether we pay any attention to them or not. After a while they become white noise…we are no longer in thrall to desire-mind’s attractions and aversions…we become calm, open to a deep inner peace and even a blissful silence in which it becomes possible to hear our Greater Self- the Great Spirit within us speak for the first time. Through the continued practice of meditation we learn to tame desire-mind. We allow it to send us urges, thoughts, memories, and evaluations which we can consider and contemplate to determine if they are harmless possibilities or potential obsessions that will lead us into suffering.
We see spirits, souls,
Coming from far places, near places,
Clothed in layers of color and warmth.
Old, young, eager for the voice of wisdom to
Hold them and touch them with love.
Great Spirit, we open to your sacred grace.
Fill our bodies with each breath we take.
Fill our eyes with your beauty.
We open to you.
Touch us, hold us in love.
Cleanse us of our problems and worries.
We are here now to be filled with your Healing and Wisdom.
We open our eyes, we open our hearts,
We open to be the sacred people
We were born to be.