September 28, 2010

Inner Freedom

Today’s Daily Dharma,

If we lack inner freedom, any intense sensory experience can generate strong attachments that entangle us. On the other hand, if we know how to perfectly maintain our inner freedom, we can experience all sensations within the pristine simplicity of the present moment, in a state of well-being that is free from grasping and expectation.

When desire is particularly intense and is experienced as an affliction, we begin by using antidotes. Two diametrically opposed mental states cannot arise at the same time toward the same object. For example, we cannot wish to harm and benefit another person at the same instant, just as we cannot shake someone's hand and give him a punch in the same gesture. The more we generate inner freedom from attachment, the less "room" there will be for craving in our mental landscape. If we use the antidote of nonattachment each time a craving arises, not only will it be effectively counteracted, but also the very tendency to crave will gradually erode until it eventually disappears.

-Matthieu Ricard, "Working with Desire" (Summer 2004)

Read the complete article here.

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