If you pay attention for just five minutes … you learn that pleasant sensations lead to the desire that these sensations will stay and that unpleasant sensations lead to the hope that they will go away. And both the attraction and the aversion amount to tension in the mind. Both are uncomfortable. So in the first minutes, you get a big lesson about suffering: wanting things to be other than what they are. Such a tremendous amount of truth to be learned just closing your eyes and paying attention to bodily sensations.What I find particularly interesting is how everything is up for grabs with respect to awareness. The desires that pleasant sensations continue and that unpleasant sensations stop are very natural and normal. Boorstein isn't saying that one should attempt to banish those desires. She is saying that it's useful to be aware of having desires even as basic as these. It is important to be able to step back even a little bit from one's desires and simply be aware of their existence.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006