Oakville Zen Meditation

#323 Core desires July 19th

                         Core human drives

Humans differ from other animals in one very important respect: we are subjects to core desires which are infinite and will never be fully gratified. These preconscious and conscious core drives could keep us in a state of restlessness and other kind of negative physical and mental thirst.

I will not elaborate on the 4 core instinctive desires such as:

   To be healthy as long as possible for self, loved ones and closed friends.

   To have material security i.e. food, lodging and job.

   To search sentimental and social stability.

   To defend ourselves while facing danger.

   To be happy.  

The next 5 core desires are more subtle and more interesting:

    The drive to control.

     This is the most powerful one for most of us.

     By using wealth, intellectual, mental, emotional, political, religious tools, and others many more, many of us are trying, even subconsciously, to influence others including the loved ones.

    The drive to acquire.

    The desire to obtain or collect wealth, physical objects, as well as immaterial acquisitions

    like social-professional status, emotional relationships is also very frequent.

    The drive to compete for success.

    Thru rivalry, being competitive is a must in our modern society.

     It may create jealousy, aggressivity, and disappointment within the human rat race.

    Competition can be within our professional or sport environment but also simply socio-familial.

    The drive to “Look at me”

    I mean by that the drive to feel valued, lovable, recognized even admired physically and intellectually.

    At max, the search for active attachment and love from others becomes predominant. When this drive becomes obsessive it becomes pathological narcissism.

    The Drive to feel.

    It includes desires from sensory stimulus, intense mental, physical and emotional experiences.

    It is generated from work, entertainment, sport, sex, intoxicants, drugs, anticipation.

    All of them will induce pleasure, excitement, or the opposite such as dissatisfaction, resentment anger, and suffering. At max, addiction is around the corner from the overstimulation of our brain reward circuits.

So, .......as far Zen is concerned, the approach is always the same:

When one of these driving desires is taking place and it will, don’t resist, don’t fight.

  1. Be mindful of it that is paying a non-emotional non-cognitive attention w/o judgment and decision.

   2- Accept it as it is whatever good or bad.

   3- And, finally, let it go.

This is how serenity can be built, one step at a time.

Remember this:

Core desires are always there, hidden or disclosed because genetically encoded and shaped by our culture, education, and religion.

Learn to discover and meditate on them rather than be trapped in their nets.

Thank you all for listening.