Desire again. My recent consideration of Sogyal Rinpoche and his alleged sexual proclivities made me think about tantric yoga. Now I know little about it as I have said. Here is a recollection of something I may have read somewhere. Contemplation of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Compassion, can help change sexual desire to compassion. Now I recently described enlightenment as a law of Nature, and then that desire and enlightenment are the same stuff. So any form of actuated desire is a detraction from enlightenment, enlightenment being a natural progression – a Path – if not interfered with and diverted by mind. That is a concern, desire detracting from enlightenment. [Warning:- I have discussed about enlightenment on the Buddhadasa page, I am now not happy discussing enlightenment. 20/9/13]
Now desire is no easy stuff to deal with. All around there are images that can create a response that becomes a desire, attachment to that desire can increase involvement with the desire, and therefore decrease involvement on the Natural Path to enlightenment. Like in all of us desire arises in me, much less now I am older but it is still there. So what do I do? Sit on it? No, that doesn’t work. Repressing the desire just means it squirms out somewhere else. In terms of sexual desire I remember reading that the Buddha suggested we meditate on what a human being is actually made of when we are attracted sexually, bugs, cells, bacteria etc. That never worked for me. Whilst I consider sexual desire natural, it is something I don’t want – I consider it a defilement (kilesa). But once attached to the defilement that’s it, whether a sex symbol is made of bacteria or not she is still a sex symbol. So that never worked.
So I give up with a kind of laissez faire attitude, I don’t want it but it’s going to happen so let it happen and don’t get strung up about it. But then it is detracting from enlightenment so that is not acceptable. But what if I can sublimate the desire? As enlightenment and desire are the same stuff, can I change it through meditation? Suppose a desire arises, can I convert it to love and compassion – good enough enlightenment stuff for me? Here I mentioned sexual desire and I also have too much appetite – I eat more than I need even though all I eat is good. What if I can change these desires when they arise? I suspect I am getting involved here with dependent origination but I have never really related to that as being more than theory.
So here is what I have come up with. If the mind is pure then enlightenment will happen when it is meant to. Love and compassion are good enlightenment stuff. If a desire comes up and I go with it then that is a distraction from enlightenment. Love and compassion are good stuff to work with chakras, breathing love and compassion in and out of the chakras. Natural sexual desire is found in the tan tien, the second chakra. I am guessing that natural hunger comes in the third chakra – solar plexus. But of course desire is primarily mental, we have sexual desire far more than we are actually capable of, we want to eat far more than we need – and eat the wrong foods because our taste buds are titilated (or addicted). That is the sixth chakra. So if desire arises I am going to try to convert it to love and compassion through these chakras – and the others as well.