Quick Wisdom with Kadam Morten

Overcoming Strong Craving

Question

I am always drawn to attractive people of the opposite sex even though I know deep down inside happiness does not come from them. When someone I’m attracted to enters the room, I become self conscious and feel uncomfortable. I can see how my mind is doing this but it can seem impossible to find a peaceful mind. Do you have any advice? Maybe a very simple practice I can do when my thought goes to wanting and craving Is there something I can do quickly and without too much effort to purify this tendency?

Answer

The main reason why we become self conscious and feel uncomfortable in a situation like this is because we’ve developed attachment. The moment we’ve developed attachment, we’re now regarding the other person as the source of our own happiness, and there’s craving in our mind. We want to be with that person, and we’re now trying to manipulate the situation to make that come about. Of course at that point we feel agitated and uncomfortable and finding peace feels impossible. The danger is that we try to suppress these feelings and supplant them with a peaceful mind. If we try to do this it will feel completely artificial. So the key instead is to immediately recognize “I am under the influence of attachment. I am now exaggerating this other person’s power to make me happy, and I’m also exaggerating my own inability to be happy from within my own mind.” We need to recognize and completely accept attachment has arisen within our mind. Then, instead of thinking “oh no!” we need to think “fantastic – now I can learn about attachment. Now I can observe it and discover how painful it is. Now I can uncover its mechanisms so I can learn to let it go.” By practicing that level of acceptance, we’re able to identify the delusion and through that wisdom we will learn to let it go naturally. Eventually it will disappear because it no longer has any power over our own mind.

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