any times people think that in order to be spiritual they have to deny themselves of certain things that they are wanting in life. Many times we find ourselves trying to run away from the world and avoid the things that we secretly desire. When I met my teacher, Mr. Ambrister, I was only 21 years old. One of the things he stressed was not to deny myself the things I was thinking about, and not to deny myself of my desires. That set pretty well with me because I had many desires. He explained, how we could not rush our way into spirituality. It’s a long, long road to home, and it won’t help to rush our way there, by trying to hold back so to speak. He also said even if you need a million dollars, go out and get it. Just make sure you keep up your meditations. I understood this because I knew as long as I kept up my meditations I would still be growing and my desires would be changing on a count of my focus. I had already begun to have that experience. So I knew that was true. He would also tell me this story to keep this in mind at times when I might be starting to deny myself of certain desires.
Story about the monk
here were two monks out begging for food for the monastery. One day one of the young monks said to the other monk, “Why are we out here begging for food for these old guys? If I’m going to beg for anything, I’m going to beg for myself.” The other monk said, “No, we have to do this.” The first said, “No, no! I’m going to go on my own.” The young monk left the monastery. When he left the monastery and went out on his own, the first person he met was a prostitute. She was beautiful and he liked what he saw. When he met her, he told her “Teach me the ways of the world.” She looked at him with his shabby clothes and his long beard, and replied, “All my guys wear English cut suits. Get away from here. Go on.” He respectfully nodded his head and went on about his business. Later when he came back, he was so sharp she didn’t even recognize him. He asked her again, “Teach me the ways of the world?” This time she agreed. Over the next several weeks she taught him how to gamble, how to play pool, all the ways of the world; all the exciting things he had been thinking about. Throughout that process they ended up falling in love. They got married. He eventually got his fill of the world. He had gotten his chance to get out and do all the things he had been thinking about. At this point he goes back to the monastery. When he goes back, he’s ready for that life, because he had experienced all the things of the world. He experienced all those things that were in his head, haunting him. He actually had to get away intially.
That’s how it is with us. If we have any desires that we are secretly harboring, and we’re not living then out, the feeling will intensify. We don’t have to be wild about it, but we must fulfill our needs. If we don’t, they will come out in a big unnatural way. It will be far worse than if we would have gone ahead and lived out our desires. In addition to this, when you sit down to meditate, if you have these desires on your mind, that’s what’s going to appear in your mind in meditation. Instead of meditating on what you should be meditating on, you’ll be meditating on Kal, meditating on the things of the world. Your mind will be focusing on those things when it should be centered on the spirit within. It still won’t do you any good.
So of course the moral of the story is, you cannot deny yourself the things of the world. We absolutely cannot get spiritual by doing that. What we should do is go ahead, get the experience – both the bad and good from it, learn the lesson that goes along with it and continue to meditation often. If we continue to meditations deeply, we’re less attached as we live out our desires. We’re able to catch the lessons quicker.
from Wise Words by Craig Kimbrough
Positive Guru Blog
This is a tough one to comprehend for people like me who are trying to be “spiritual” by denying my body. Isn’t the desire to get past the body also a desire we should go out and experience? Conflicting things going on here. Maybe we need to learn to have compassion for ourselves no matter what we do and free ourselves from guilt. Just pondering.
Hello my friend I do agree we need to have compassion for ourselves and others and this can be a tough one to coprehend. It seems as though many of the spiritual truths can be conflicting at times but really they are not. We can often embrace a thing and still move past it when the time comes without intensifying our need for it by denying ourselves too much. For example you can take care of your body feed it properly and still meditate etc. and have much less thought about it than if you move too far in denying your body, starve it,not brush your teeth and let your teeth decay. It is harder to meditate and get past your body when in great pain.
Another example is when people choose to be vegetarians often I will tell them to try giving up one meat at a time rather than just go cold turkey. This way you can still enjoy what you are used to as you gradually move to the next place. This tends to work much better for most rather than trying to give it all up at once. When they do this they usually think about what they are missing all day long.
Also if we meditate daily we find that many of our desires that may not be so good for us seem to just drop away or be replaced with others that are more suited toward our goals.
Thank you for reading and sharing
Peace and Blessings
Yes! Thank you for this. I needed it. I always thought that having desires like that was wrong. Or at least felt wrong – I felt guilty some how. But now I’ve learned something. There is nothing wrong for desiring something as long as your not hurting anyone or yourself. Fulfilling our desires actually help us to focus more on what really matters because then you are not distracted as much – when you’re thinking about the possibilities of what could have happen or what could have been.