Dhamma Letter No. 25
Q&A No. 9
Q: Why are sensual desires disallowed in the practice of The Path?
A: Most desire derives from feelings of pleasure. While pleasurable feelings are not bad in and of themselves, they are inherently fleeting; one cannot abide permanently in feelings of pleasure. When an object of desire fails to be satisfied, one's desire turns to anger, an unpleasurable feeling. This is the flow of nature and the means by which stress arises and we suffer as a result of sensual desire.
Remember the natural law of the ti-lakkhana, anicca, dukkha, and anatta (Dhamma letter no. 14-21) - the basis of the practice for which ultimate happiness is the goal. Things are changing all the time; all phenomena is impermanent (anicca). One’s resistance to these facts is met with dissatisfaction (dukkha).
Additionally, keep in the mind the relationship of lobha (greed), dosa (aversion), and moha (delusion). Moha is the root of all defilements and underlying cause of lobha and dosa. When reality proves unsatisfactory with regard to one’s lobha, dosa arises. Therefore, certain desires can serve as hindrances to the practice.
May you be liberated from any bondages!
May you eradicate all defilement!
Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
Edited by Max Montgomery
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Bhikkuni Kosalla Vipassini is the Abbess of Mahapajapati Monastery in Pioneertown, California. For monastery updates, please see Mahapajapati’s Facebook. Donations are gratefully accepted, whether you volunteer your time, offer funds, or provide needed requisites for the monastics. If you are inspired to donate, you may do so here.
Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!
Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!
Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !