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Constant Craving

Posted by on Jan 21, 2012


Everyone has their hook. Their drug of choice. Their got-to-have-it craving. For some it is a fairly benign scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, for others it is a drug like cocaine or heroine that wrecks their nervous system and brain, leaving a hollow shell of a body and soul . . . and while this may not be your m.o., are any of us really immune to craving? 

After all, craving is just another form of attachment. For some people it is sex, for others drugs. For some it is the accumulation of wealth and power.  Even positive things like working out or shopping for clothing, talking too much, or having to be around others can be turned into cravings or habits that we have a hard time living without. Each of these is really a deep need for something else entirely, though few are aware of the base desire. At the core of ourselves we are longing for a much higher bliss than can be gotten from food, sex, drugs, money, or an endorphine rush at the gym. 

Deep down we really want true Bliss, or Nirvana. This state of mind blows away the happiness we receive from sensual pleasures, like taste, touch, smell, and sight. It makes even the physical orgasm a pale shade of grey compared to true Nirvana called Samadhi, in Sanskrit.

There are ways to cultivate this state of mind, but most of us get so caught up in sensual pleasures – sometimes called the sins of the flesh – that we forget spiritual food will uplift us higher than any recreational drug or explicit affair. We are drawn to these things like a fish begging for water, not realizing that the fountain of bliss exists inside us, and therefore all around us.

Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away.
Aitken Roshi

This fountain of bliss is accessed through meditation and yoga. It cannot be realized in a mind that is constantly grasping for outer sensations. It is a paradox I have only recently begun to understand in my own practice, and have struggled immensely to put it into practice, and though I have experienced fleeting moments of this sensation, I have not yet been able to rest in Nirvana so that my egoic grasping can completely cease. It is a work in progress. Some days it feels like a battle, but I know the ego would have me think this is the case when that in itself is just another illusion. I also know that as long as I struggle with my own delusions and continue to grasp, I can’t expect the world to change. Wars happen for the same reason. They are just grasping on a much larger scale.

I desire only to know the truth, and to live as well as I can, and to the utmost of my power, I exhort all other men (and women) to do the same. I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict. – Socrates

There is a state of mind where things are constant, still and ever-present. Or, if you prefer to think of it in another way, completely empty.  When Bruce Lee said, “empty your mind be formless,” he didn’t intend for us to lose our intelligence or our wisdom. Notice it is called mindFULLness training when we learn how to meditate. In order to be truly wise we have to empty the contents of our racing heads in order to see things as they truly are. Only great masters have been able to do this in the past, but I feel certain that we are all able to learn these techniques. Richard Maurice Buck. M.D. talks at length about the capacity of human consciousness to evolve in the book Cosmic Consciousness. The same way we learned to use tools and make music, smell roses and cook food, we can learn to elevate our conscious minds to a state of freedom – to true bliss that has no basis in false desires of the ego, not sex, drugs, or even rock ‘n roll. 

The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is the background of awareness which does not change. – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


As we learn to turn our attention within and pay attention to this rich landscape, we ironically find a quietness that naturally lessons our craving. Sure, we might still need a coffee fix in the morning or seek the love of friends and family – all human desires which we universally share, but we start to begin to be able to CHOOSE our experiences instead of being ruled by them. Addictions of any kind are just an absence of choice. They don’t come from wisdom, they come from egoic clinging and reaching that is so unconscious the person doing it doesn’t even realize what they are grasping for any more. To eliminate constant craving we have to give up sense-based cravings and look to the still, quiet calm of infinity lurking beneath our densest, dullest longings. It is only here that we will find true bliss.

Christina Sarich (c) 2012 Offered Under Creative Common License. Reprint only with reference to author and website and all links in tact.

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