• What do we really want? True Desires vs. Borrowed Desires
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    Divine Mine

What do we really want? True Desires vs. Borrowed Desires

By Ma Ananda Sanghavasini, Meditation Facilitator & Intuitive Life Coach at The Divine Mine.

Just a few days ago I had to go to get my phone charger replaced. I went to the store, and as I was scanning the shelves, not quite sure what to look for, a very friendly store clerk approached me, asking if I needed any help. I told him I was looking for a phone charger. He helped me find one, and along with it he assured me that I should cancel my existing phone plan with a competitive provider, that I needed a new, much better phone plan with them that came with a nice new phone including a new charger and a whole pile of other things that I knew I did not need. If I would not have been clear I would have walked in with the idea of getting a phone charger, and walked out with a whole lot of other things that I did not intended on getting. The story continues….

My next stop was at a soap store as I just wanted to get one bar of soap. Again it happened; the friendly store clerk told me that if I get two bars of soap I will get a nice dish with it – for free!

These stories are just to illustrate the movement of the wavering mind; these situations are perfect ‘outward’ reflections of what is going on in our inner world most of the time. We set out to do one task, one errand, and end up being distracted, finding ourselves getting or doing things we did not intended to at all.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda describes this process beautifully in his book “Living Enlightenment”. He describes the “borrowed desires” and the “true desires” in depth in here. Here is a quote from the book: “There is a difference between our true desires and ‘borrowed’ desires. Our true desires are called our “needs”. Borrowed desires are called our “wants”.  In other words, some desires are innate, and some desires are accumulated.

Let us look a little more deeply into the nature of borrowed desires. Let us use an example we can all relate with. You are watching a program that gets interrupted by a commercial about some food or drink item. Upon seeing this you suddenly think:” good idea! I am actually kind of hungry or thirsty”. Before you know it you find yourself wandering off to get something to eat or drink. Like this, over many years, we take on many of these borrowed desires unconsciously. We are told that we need this car, this house, that spouse, and all kinds of other things to bring us the eternal happiness. The thing about borrowed desires is though that they never bring us the happiness that society promises.

What you can pick up as a spiritual practice is this. When a desire arises in you, just watch it with awareness. Where did you pick up this idea? When did the desire arise? Was it due so a cause? Along with these questions, which you can write down, bring your awareness inward and notice what is really going on in your inner space. What emotions are there? How does your body feel? Just this process will bring a lot of clarity in you. You will learn a lot about what desires are innate, and which ones you picked up! It is a fun exercise that I recommend for anybody. When we bring awareness into our lives that is when a big transformation happens.
  • Post author
    Divine Mine