On this episode of Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein explores how it’s helpful to have a comprehensive view of enlightenment and an idea of our direction forward as we set out on the spiritual path.
The First Step Depends on the Last
As we embark on the spiritual journey, it’s good to know where we’re going and what we’re looking for. Joseph talks about how we’re so often looking in the wrong places, and how our desire for happiness keeps us chained to the wheel of Samsara. It’s of the utmost importance that we examine the fetter of craving and how we experience it in our lives.
“This evening I’d like to talk a bit about the end of the [spiritual] path, because the direction of our first steps depends on our understanding of what the last step is.” – Joseph Goldstein
Lust Cracks the Brain (20:03)
Joseph explores how trivial desires can strengthen into strong habits, and how we can become lost in thought fantasies. He talks about the drawbacks of sense pleasures, how they are impermanent, unreliable, and subject to change. When a craving becomes an obsessive force in the mind, that can lead to unwholesome, dangerous actions.
“So many of these different patterns of craving and desire, they’re so familiar to us. It’s just how we live; it’s just what our lives are about. They just seem like the very ordinary fabric of life.” – Joseph Goldstein
Joseph Goldstein dives deeper into the nature of craving on Insight Hour Ep. 76
It’s About Letting Go (41:00)
Joseph examines another type of craving, the craving for becoming, which is the basic desire to become this or that. We see this play out within the pattern of the obsessively planning mind, in the feeling of rushing, and oftentimes in our meditation practice. Joseph talks about how the end of the spiritual journey is not about becoming something, it’s about not craving or holding on.
“When we understand that liberation is not about getting anything, it’s about letting go, that changes how we’re doing our practice.” – Joseph Goldstein
Source images via Creative Vector Artist and bc21