So what is spiritual practice? This is actions aimed at attainment of a certain result.
......... Thus every practice is the result of desire, desire to be someone, desire to gain something.
......... But how about getting rid of desire for cessation of all other desires?
......... When we start doing something crediting it so much importance, we actually remain desirous.
Desire is the product of thought.
.......... I have seen a woman whose beauty really made me forget about everything, about myself, now the thought says: marry her. And we all do that. So what is the result? The result is that we become fed up with those cakes, songs, women etc. Thus it happens everytime.
What is the reason of it?
.........Practice is impossible without thought, practice is impossible without all those things we learnt and take for truth about ourselves. Yet all that can never correspond with the Present Moment, with the Now, with me of the present day, not of the yesterday.
.......... When we give up all desire we remain one-on-one with the present moment, without desire, which is always the outcome of the past. This state cannot be attained through any practice, through adherence to moral precepts or whatever, this is not the outcome of the will or thought. It comes spontaneously and authomatically when the inability of ALL desires, however noble, is understood.
Please let me try.......
The Eastern thought or the the Oriental philosophies has certain core ideas which they assert to be of some fruitful value for life fulfillment. The vedic literatures are quite famous for pleading its readers to follow paths that attains, gains, results (words you used) as a goal for individual liberation or self-realisation or whateevr you may call it.
In India, it is believed by many that there is no one way to acheive those goals. there are many ways. One way is of course what we often hear as spiritual practise.
As you rightly propound, that desire is the product of thought, and that practise is impossible without thought, there seems to be a superficiality to the claims being made by spiritual practioners, to a complete outsider.
So, even if i practise meditation, is it not the result of a desire?
To understand this dichotomy, we should know about 1) the concept of Maya or Illusion 2) the concept of Ego.
Once we understand this concepts, it would then be clear that why in Ecclesiastes the king who having conquered everthing else, ultimately desired to capture the wind, but in vain. Hope this brief observation will help thee.
Having said this, it is now important to understand that desire - a product of thought, has to be tamed or chained. You will now agree, if logically followed, that it is thought that appears to be the root cause. Hence, yogis, (it was not Buddha's idea or discovery, poor him) concluded that the only logical and possible way to control desire is by way of controlling the thoughts. If thought is held back, lets suppose like the river water behind a dam, then all that floods the downstream valley is also controlled.
To control desire means to control al that unwanted or harmful desire, that has a debilitating effect either on the individual or on the society, partly or wholly.
In a sense, by controlling or 'killing' the desire [the thought-actions of Ego]within you, you are liberating yourself.
Spiritual/meditational practise, according to Hindu teachings, is only one way to curb the harmful desirous thoughts.
The good desire to live, and the desire to participate in this discussion is a healthy desire. Although it is still a reflection of Maya.
It seems to me that here is some difference, is it not? Because when I learn to play guitar I learn not one thing but the wise to do many, right?
So after practising, I shall become free from thoughts?
After practising, you can better control your thoughts of desire or any other thought.
Isn't practice the product of thought, the product of desire, the product of the past? Obviously it is. It is necessary to understand that, to experience that, not just say: "It is the product of desire" and forget about it.
The product of desire - in other words is Mayajaal...... The Web/Entanglement of material objects.
Thou knowst the word means "cessation of wind". When a storm on sea comes to an end, people in India called that "nirvana" that is the end of storm. Then desire was identified with that wind and nirvana started meaning the end of blowing inside one's soul, the end of all desires, the cessation.
It is an apt example. Thanks
Now what is practice: this is not cessation of the wind, this is an attempt to make all winds to blow in one direction, an attempt of one thought, of one desire to dominate over others. "I want this desire to stop, I want to be concentrated, free...", is it not another form of desire we labeled to be noble for some reasons?
Allow me to show thee where thou hast gone a wrong way. Why dost thou desire to be free from thoughts, to be like Krishna or whoever? The freedom comes when one does not desire anything because, again, when thou desirest something, this is DESIRE. Thus there is absolutely no way to overcome thought by means of will because will is also thought.
Will is the engine on which the wheels of desire run. Free or freeness or freedom is anthropogenic and is relative. The product of Maya.
When everything is forgotten when we give up an attempt to become free, we become free. I think that all those teachers like the Buddha taught the same: the end of ALL desires, noble, ignoble, to be free, to be slave. But when people heard thereof and did not really understand, they made with those words the same thing as they do everytime: they started using will to get there, because that is the thing they do in their everyday life. Surely I cannot prove that but it seems to be so.
Dost thou really think that meditating at all will make one free? That in the end of the path there is fruit. But where is the end. I should like to propose thee one koan, maybe I've read it somewhere or maybe created myself: "If thou practisest, thou wilt become a practitioner, not buddha"
When the teacher says 'you have to practise maths' ; it does not mean that eventually you will become the maths teacher. But one thing is sure, without the practise, you can never become the maths teacher.