Q. If the fundamental premise of Buddhism is to remove all desire, why do Buddhists still harbour many desires?

A. You seem to misunderstand Buddhism. If the fundamental premise of Buddhism were to remove all desires as you said, how could Buddha have had the desire to devote himself to help sentient beings? Without desire, how could we participate in charity activities and raise funds to aid war victims? Whatever we may do, the purpose of our doing is to meet our desires regardless of whether they are moral or not. Going to see a doctor when we are not well is also a kind of desire to stay alive. How could we live our lives without desire?

The Fundamental premise of Buddhism is not to remove all desires but to realise that everything, including desire, is empty. When we have realised that our desires are empty, we do not have to be so attached to them that we will harm others to meet our desires. We are not so proud and arrogant that we look down on others even if we succeed in meeting our desires. We need not feel frustrated when we fail to meet them.

In other words, Buddhist teaching is not that we must not have any desire, but that we should not be enslaved by our desires by realising that not only all our desires, but the objects of our desires are also empty.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s