A meditation to help you manage your wants and desires so they don’t consume you. By Jill Lawson.

Many people seeking nirvana believe experiencing desire is sinful. The very meaning of nirvana suggests we only reach ultimate inner peace when we want for nothing. Nirvana is the absence of desire. But, take a moment to imagine what it feels like to not want anything. Seriously, I’m guessing you can’t do it. You want to live well, you want to make money, you want to eat pancakes for breakfast, and so on.

The teachings behind reaching nirvana are not about shunning your wishes and dreams. Instead, they are about not letting desire rob you of inner joy. For example, you may want ice cream for dessert but you don’t have any in the freezer, and all the stores are closed. What now? Are you going to be upset or will you simply shrug your shoulders and move on? Therein lies the practice of finding inner peace.

The following meditation is designed to help you manage your wants and desires so they don’t consume you. Practice when you want something. In other words, practice every day. Remember to be gentle on yourself. It’s not un-yogic to want something, but you’ll be missing the point of the teachings if it frustrates you when you don’t get it.

Do it now

Begin in a comfortable position, free from distractions.

Take several deep breaths to clear your mind and relax your body. Notice how you feel without judgement, then turn your attention inward. Now, tell yourself desire is not a crime. Understand that to desire is to be human. Recall a time you did not get what you wanted. As you think of this time, notice how your body feels. Are you experiencing a visceral reaction? How does it make you feel energetically?

Become fully aware of the present moment. In this moment, look deeply into yourself and realise how blessed you are to be alive and have what you have. Feel your heart beating, hear your breath moving in and out of your body, close your eyes and witness the magic of your soul. Nothing about the inner you need be disgruntled in the present.

In your effort to get what you want, trust you don’t have to alter your joy if you get it or you don’t. You will remain you; the beautiful, glowing, spirit you already are and have been. You possess everything you need to get what your soul truly desires.

Jill Lawson is a writer and yoga teacher enjoying life on the island of Maui in Hawaii (jilllawson.net)

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