Preference vs. Desire

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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hkvanx
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:51 pm

Preference vs. Desire

Post by hkvanx » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:53 pm

Lately, I have been training my mind to use the word "prefer" instead of "want" or "desire".

For example, "I PREFER to have ice cream after dinner" instead "I WANT to have ice cream after dinner"

or I prefer for the weather to be nice today

or I prefer if my wife would be more understanding

or I prefer my kids would clean up after themselves

or I prefer to be healthy

Doing this has help me lower my attachment to the outcome. In past, when my plans did not go accordingly, I would be pretty upset. I feel like this has also allows me to state my desire outcome instead of masking it (instead of telling myself that "I don't want any ice cream"). By using prefer, I am open to the idea that it may not happen for whatever reasons. By I can continue to work towards my goal without being fully vested emotionally in the outcome.

Is this a practice of non-attachment or is this more detachment/disassociation? Is this healthy personal practice?

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Ayu
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Re: Preference vs. Desire

Post by Ayu » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:31 pm

Once I learned in a course about Right Speech that the thought is first and then the emotion follows. Viewed from neuro-science. The coach in that course was a buddhist monk and educated psychologist as well.
So, this means, if you controll your speech or thoughts ( the speech in the head) you'll get better controll over emotions. Desire is emotion, I estimate.
So, I think you found a very good tool for yourself and it is even scientificly proven. :smile:

Like an ancient book said: "At the beginning there was the word..."
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

SteRo
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Re: Preference vs. Desire

Post by SteRo » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:55 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:53 pm
Is this a practice of non-attachment ... ? Is this healthy personal practice?
Of course. All that attenuates attachment and doesn't cause harm is a good practice. And it shows that experience and thinking are inseparably connected and that conventional mind training which is based on beneficial thinking is a good practice.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Preference vs. Desire

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:15 pm

You very well might like reading
this famous Chinese Zen poem.
I’ve included the first few stanzas here.
It is easy to find online:

ONBELIEVING IN MIND
(J: SHINJIN-NO-MEI)
by Chien-chih Seng-ts'an (J: Sosan),
Third Zen Patriarch

Translated by D.T.Suzuki

The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise;

A tenth of an inch's difference,
And heaven and earth are set apart;
If you wish to see it before your own eyes,
Have no fixed thoughts either for or against it.

To set up what you like against what you dislike
This is the disease of the mind:
When the deep meaning [of the Way] is not understood
Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose.

[The Way is] perfect like unto vast space,
With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous:
It is indeed due to making choice
That its suchness is lost sight of.


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Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

AJP
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Re: Preference vs. Desire

Post by AJP » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:04 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:15 pm

ONBELIEVING IN MIND
(J: SHINJIN-NO-MEI)
by Chien-chih Seng-ts'an (J: Sosan),
Third Zen Patriarch

Translated by D.T.Suzuki

The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise;

A tenth of an inch's difference,
And heaven and earth are set apart;
If you wish to see it before your own eyes,
Have no fixed thoughts either for or against it.

To set up what you like against what you dislike
This is the disease of the mind:
When the deep meaning [of the Way] is not understood
Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose.

[The Way is] perfect like unto vast space,
With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous:
It is indeed due to making choice
That its suchness is lost sight of.


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.
.
Great posting lovely clarity

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