For many years I have been drawn to the teachings of Buddha, there are many elements that seem to bring peace and harmony to the person who can hold this wisdom. However, there was a piece that had bothered me, the limitation of certain behaviors that is often called upon by one looking to reach enlightenment. I could not understand why, in this world of abundance, would we be called to renounce desires and attachments. The wisdom of this escaped me, if I wanted to indulge in the sensual pleasures of this world, why wouldn’t I? Surely it was for enjoyment that these things were created. Even reading these words now, they seem so juvenile, so I wish to share my transforming experience of direct liberation as a result of limitation
I was very blessed to meet with a wise man, who took me under his wing so I could learn deep esoteric knowledge, and heal my deep wounds of the spirit. In this apprenticeship I was asked to abstain from many things. I was hesitant and distrustful of the guidance at first, but I found a willingness deep in myself to be challenged on new fronts. This abstinence surely could not hurt me, I could only gain. Through some discomfort, emotional ups and downs, and much imperfection, I came to some very profound revelations about the nature of life, love and the spirit.
I limited social interactions, quit drinking, abstained from sex, ate only simple organic foods, pushed myself past boundaries with exercise and work, and I committed to deep internal investigation through meditation and journaling. As I let go of many things in my life, I began to realize how much the attainment of these desires dictated my happiness. I was happy if I had it, unhappy if I didn’t. When I let go of the compulsive need to fill these desires, I began to find I had control over my emotional stability. I could be happy and at peace whether these cravings were satisfied or not, and this is a powerful place to be. In this place fears dissipate and your life is no longer centered on running after the fulfillment of these material desires. When you let go of the chasing an amazing amount of energy is freed within yourself. I began to see my relationships as lessons, not as another way to fulfill desire. Everything changed. My well-being soared, and I had the energy to pursue the things that nurtured me on a deeper level.
In the past years this practice and discipline has brought me much freedom. I do not leave a job because it does not please me, I do not enter a relationship because I fear the future. I have been able to simplify my life to such a great degree, and I can clearly communicate real needs, so that I can aspire toward healthy goals. I find that when I do involve myself in a relationship there is deep meaning there, not simple satisfaction of simple desire. I can be discerning with what I put in my body, and feel great.
As I have found, all you need is already within, when we curb the superficial cravings through limiting our access to them, we gain a greater understanding of ourselves and we can begin to perceive where our true motives lie. When we clean out the clutter and compulsions we can hear what our wise inner voice is trying to communicate to us.