Matthieu Ricard: If you are the victim of a strong desire

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From Above
Photograph by Craig Goodwin, National Geographic Your Shot
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If you are the victim of a strong desire that is troubling you and won’t leave you alone, begin by examining its main characteristics and identifying the appropriate antidotes.
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One aspect of desire is urgency.
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To counter that urgency, calm your thoughts and observe the coming and going of the breath as described earlier.
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Desire also has a restrictive and disturbing aspect.
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As an antidote to this, imagine the comforting and soothing quality of inner freedom.
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Spend a few moments allowing a feeling of freedom to arise and grow.
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Desire tends to distort reality and make you view its object as fundamentally desirable.
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In order to regain a more accurate view of things, take the time to examine all aspects of the object of your desire, and meditate for a few moments on its less attractive and less desirable sides.
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Finally, let your mind relax into the peace of awareness, free from hope and fear, and appreciate the freshness of the present moment, which acts like a balm to the burning of desire.
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