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Craving – What’s it All About


Q&A: Craving, what’s it all about?

Master Culadasa describes what craving is, how it arises and how we can train ourselves to end our own suffering.

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Culadasa: What it does when we experienced craving. And this is why we experienced craving is what it does is it drives us to action, but it does it in such an incredibly crude way. We're human beings. We're not some primitive organism that the only hope it has a way of acting in ways that are going to.

Be beneficial to it is to be driven by desire and aversion and be driven by craving and its different forms. We're human beings. We have intelligence, we can cultivate that intelligence. And so that we acquire wisdom in the process. We don't lose the ability to recognize what's good and what's bad.

What's wholesome outside of the house and what's Spanish. And what's not beneficial. We see it just as clearly as ever. But instead, I've been driven by a very crude, emotional reaction. We can act with wisdom and reason tempered by compassion, loving kindness, or respect for the people and all these other things.

So

this is ultimately where the ability to. Gerald we're craving brings you too. And I just I love to imagine our Mike transformed the world because we had people that were coming from this kind of place.

No matter what life is going to present you with all kinds of difficult situations. Loss illness, disease.

It's the nature of things. Things are unsatisfactory and the sad spat no matter how, when really. We're always we can always imagine someplace some way that we would want them to be better, even if we've got a lot, we've want more. But most of the time it's not even the situation. Have we got a lot in the problem is that we want more it's that we don't have any, or we've got something that really hurts or, those are the kinds of things.

So that's the way life is. That's the reality. That's. In these bodies and in this world, that's the situation that we're always going to be in is it is by its very nature on satisfactory and is constantly changing. There's just, no point in January getting sound idea of how we want things to be in.

Causing ourselves to suffer when they don't turn out that way or becoming attached to the way things are and suffering when it changes, because it's always going to change and the server going to turn out quite the way that we would like it to. So that's the reality if you come from just that truth, but that's the way it is.

And the question is, what can I do about it? Cause you can't change the world. You can't change the unit. What'd you can change is the way that you react and respond to it. That's what it's all about.

The interesting thing about the process is that you can practice doing that and you can learn and

You can modify your behavior patterns, your own conditioning. And that's a very important thing to do. It's a very wonderful thing to do to to work on yourself, to perfect yourself. Ah,

And you will realize the benefits are that as for so long as you do it, you will keep realizing the benefits. And the way to do that is to practice mindfulness and allow mindfulness to convert ignorance, to wisdom, to allow wisdom to temporary your responses and your reactions to the situations that you're in.

And to come more and more into this place of acceptance. Non-resistance and just being with whatever counts and then doing what's appropriate by as a result of that. But that's not the whole story. And.

It's a good thing because because the changes that you making yourself this way, as you're taking a mind that can be conditioned, can be trained and it has been conditioned and trained. In one way, and then you're recognizing that's how you're doing things that will change that conditioning. And you recondition your mind in the future, but your mind remains.

I am entity that is subject to conditioning and the positive conditioning you're you are Creating can become overwhelmed by circumstances. If you're lucky, overwhelming circumstances will always stay, just step behind the positive conditioning of the mind, but there's always that risk, but tomorrow suddenly it's going to come up that just overwhelms all this good, wonderful conditioning that you've been able to do pretty much.

And also you it's subject to the conditioning knowing the only way to if you stop practicing this mindfulness and. And directing your responses all there, there's a huge backlog of old conditioning there, and that will start to manifest and it starts reasserting itself. And of course, every time you allow it to reassert itself, you're highly, conditionable conditional bull.

Mine is now starting to be reconditioned in the negative way. Yeah. Why don't we put this as that is. You start out with a whole lot of karma. That's not so good. And you can make some good karma and that will improve things. But he can never tell when some of the old bad karma is going to catch up with you.

It's still there. And not only that, no matter how much new good karma you made it wears out to. So that's why, hello, this is very important. The other really important thing to do is to get to the read of it, get to the root of the paving. You know why, again, this goes to the question, it goes beyond just the fact that yeah, we're driven by craving and yeah, we do this and yet we create our own suffering this way.

But why, where does it come from? What can we do about it in a more profound sense?

And that's really in terms of a Buddhist teaching, that's really what the force truth is about. Get is about the path to permanent eradication of suffering, complete liberation. Is the permanent eradication of its cause, which is craving. And that's what the eightfold path is about. So an important part of the eightfold path is creating good karma conditioning, your mind in a positive way diminishing the amount of suffering and unhappiness that you experience.

In the world through recognizing and being mindful of these reactions. And that's really true, but, and very valuable and as part of the a-hole tax, but what it's doing is getting you ready to go to the deeper level and recognize that. All of this craving is based on a more profound set of illusions.

If you look at the resistance to what is in the present moment there's a song, any illusions in that and right at the heart of them, it's this. MI that is experiencing this and this me that wants things different and

there is a separation there and that's what self is the word self has no meaning at all, except in contrast to its opposite, which is everything that's not. So and what is,

is being split into two parts. And one part is the self and then there's everything else. And then everything's being interpreted in terms of whether, to what degree is everything else serving the needs of the separate cell. And that's where we come from. That's, But we feel that the self, I, it takes a little bit of work to come to understand what the real nature is of what's going on.

It doesn't just come from thinking about a little bit. We had to go deeper and see that. But if you can. Began to recognize that as vain, the problem and start working was out more directly, then you can you can approve very thing and the causes of suffering and I way that doesn't seem to be subject to being overwhelmed.

And the conditioning doesn't seem to be subject to going the other way. That's okay. We start with where we are and it is the necessary first step. And then the necessary foundation is to stop this blindly reacting that way we always have, and to get to the place where we can start to see things clearly, part of that is things get immediately better in all kinds of ways.


Automated transcription

What it does when we experience craving, and this is why we experience creating is what it does. Is it drives us to action? But it does it in such an incredibly crude way. You know We're human beings. We're not... We're not some. Primitive organism that they only hope it has of acting in ways that are going to be beneficial to it is to be driven by by desire and aversion and be driven by creating in as different forms. We're human beings. We have intelligence. We can cultivate that intelligence and so that we acquire wisdom in the process we don't lose the ability to recognize what's good and what's bad what's Wholesome, what's on the hold, what's beneficial?

And it's not beneficial. We see it just as clearly as ever. But instead of being driven by a very emotional reaction, we can act with wisdom and reason, tempered by compassion, loving kindness or respect for people and all these elderly. So But this is ultimately where the ability to to overcome craving Brings you to. And and I I just I I I'd love to imagine out my transform the world, which we had f sql over. I'm from this kind of place. No matter what. Life is going to present you with all kinds of difficult situations.

Loss illness, disease. You know, it's it's the nature of things. Things are un and the sense that no matter. How they really are. We're all we... We we can always imagine send by some way that we would want them to be better. Even if we've got a lot we want more. But most of the time it's not even the situation have we got a lot and the problem is that we want more. It's that we don't have any or we've got something that really hurts sort, you know, or other kinds of change. So that's way like is.

It's that's that's the reality. That's in these bodies and in this world. That's the situation that we're always going to be in. It's it is by its very nature un. And is constantly changing. There's just, you know, no point in generating some idea of how we want things to be and then causing ourselves to suffer when they don't turn out that way or becoming attached to the way things are and suffering when it changes. Because it's always gonna change and let's say we're gonna out quite the way that we would like it too.

So that's that's the reality. If you come from just that truth, but that's the way it is and the question. So what can i do about it? As you can't change the world, you can't change the universe, which can change is the way that you react and respond to it. That's that's what it's all about. The interesting thing about the process is that you can practice doing that and you can learn. And you can you can modify your behavior patterns. You're all don't your own conditioning. And that's a very important thing to do.

It's a very wonderful thing to do to to work on yourself. To perfect yourself. And you will realize the benefits are it as for so long as you do it. You keep realizing the benefits of it. And the way to do that is to practice mindfulness and allow mindfulness to convert ignorance to wisdom to. Allow wisdom to temper your responses and your reactions to the situations that you're in and to come more and more into this place of of acceptance non resistance and just being with whatever whatever comes and then doing what's appropriate as a result that.

But that's not the whole story. And It's a good thing because because the changes that you're making yourself this way is you're you're taking a mind that can be conditioned. Can be trained? And it has been conditioned and trained in one way. And then you're recognizing that. And so you doing things that will change that conditioning and your recon condition your mind in the future. But your mind remains I... An entity that is subject to conditioning. And the positive conditioning you are creating can become overwhelmed by circumstances.

I mean, if if you're lucky, overwhelming makes circumstances, we'll always stay, you know, just step behind. The positive conditioning on the bike. But there's always that risk that yeah tomorrow, suddenly seem to come up that just overwhelm all this good wonderful conditioning that you've been able to do pretty month. So, you know, at our Also, you... It's subject to the conditioning knowing the other way too. If you stopped, practicing this mindfulness and and and directing your responses. All of there's a huge backlog of old conditioning there and it will start to manifest and it starts re itself.

And of course, every time you allow to re itself, you know, your highly conditional conditional conditional of mine. Is now starting to be reposition in the negative wait. Yeah. Right? Why way could put this is that is that? You start out with a whole lot of karma that's not so good, and you can make some good karma and that'll will improve things. But he can never tell when some of the old bed karma is gonna catch up with you. Right? He's it's still there. And not only that. No matter how much new good currently we you made.

It wears out too. Right? So that's why although this is very, very important, the other really important thing to do is is to get to the root of it. Get to the root how's crazy. You know, why again if goes to the question, goes beyond just the fact that yeah. We're driven. By craving. And yeah, we do this. And yeah, we create our own suffering this way. But well why? Where does it come from? What what can we do about it in a more profound sense? And that's really... In terms of a buddhist teaching, that's really what the fourth truth is about.

It is about the path to permanent era of suffering. Mh complete liberation. Gives is the permanent era of its cause, which is created. And that's what the eight path is about. So an important part of the eight volt path is creating good karma. Conditioning your mind in a positive way. Diminishing the amount of suffering and unhappiness that you experience in the world through recognizing and being mindful these these reactions, and that's really true. But and and very valuable and as part of the a whole tab, but what it's doing is getting your ready to go to the deeper level and recognize it.

All of this craving is based on a more profound set of illusions. I mean, if you look at the resistance to what is in the present moment, there's some many illusions in that. And right at the heart of, it's this me that is experiencing this, this me that wants things different. And There is a separation there, And that's what self is. The word self has no meaning at all, except in contrast to its opposite, which is everything that's not so. And so what is is being split into two parts. And one part is the self, and then there's everything else.

Got. And then everything's being interpreted in terms of whether to what degree is everything else serving the needs of the separate itself. And that's that's where we come from. That's, you know... But we feel but the self, you know, it takes a little work to come to understand what the real nature is of what's going on. It doesn't... It... It doesn't just come from thinking about a little bit. Now we have to go deeper and see that. But if you can if you can begin to recognize, that has been the problem and start working with that more directly, then you can you can uproot craving and the causes are suffering in a way that doesn't seem to be subject to being overwhelmed, and the conditioning doesn't seem to be subject to going the other way.

That's So we start with where we are. And it is the necessary first step and the necessary foundation. Is to stop this blindly reacting the way we always have and to get to the place where we can start to see things clearly.

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