Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly. Suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last — that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security.
- Pema Chodron
When we see reality accurately, we discover that mind states are actually a function of our being; they are not a function of how much we have or what we have. This is one of the ironies of desire. There are so many things that we can have, and that we do have, without the suffering of attachment, without compromise or loss. These are inner qualities such as love, faith, wisdom and peace. Such states are not produced by a process of having more and more, through feverish seeking.
When we become lost in desire, we are put firmly into the framework of linear time. We become focused on getting what we do not yet have, or on keeping what we do have. We become oriented toward the future. To be caught in this concept of linear time brings us to what in Buddhist teachings is called bhava, or becoming, always falling into the next moment. It is as if before each breath ends, we are leaning forward to grasp at the next breath.
- Sharon Salzberg
In offering our presence to others, it helps to actually be present
. Not thinking about tomorrow and not thinking about all the things you have to do later. Teachers often talk about the “if only” mind or the “if then” mind that takes us out of the present moment. “If only I didn’t have to deal with this health problem, then I could be really present” or “If I got that promotion, then I could take a vacation and really be happy.” However, we often find that whenever we get to that moment where we thought we’d actually be happy, our mind has already moved onto the next thing. We will never be able to relax with where we are or who we are if we always think there’s somewhere better to be or someone better to be. Being present (Being Here Now
!) is the key to being more, living more and loving more.