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Friday, March 11, 2005

A Thought for the Day From Sri Eknath Easwaran

Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


A compulsive desire is like any other thought over which you have no control. It flows continuously: "I want that; I want that; I want that." There seems to be no space between the thoughts. But when your meditation begins to deepen, two things happen. First, the thought process slows down. Second, you develop a new attitude toward desires
-- you begin to realize that you needn't give in to the desire, unless you choose to. You get a taste of the powerful satisfaction that comes when you go against long-standing compulsions.

Now, when a very strong desire starts to overtake you, and your mind is just one long string of "I want that," you catch sight of a tiny opening between the demands. It may be only a split second in duration at first, but in time it grows long enough for another thought, another kind of thought, to make itself known. "Hmmm," we think, "maybe part of me does want that -- but do I? Is it really in my long-term best interest to gratify this desire? Or my family's?"

-----
>From Eknath Easwaran, "Words to Live By" (Nilgiri Press, 1997)

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