Desire Is Good

Desire is not necessarily a bad thing. Desire is defined by Oxford Dictionaries in the following way:

A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

The nature of desire depends on what is being desired. Usually desire is associated with physical or sense pleasures, such as sex, food, drink, music, or something of a certain form, colour, texture, smell, taste, or sound.

The nature of desire can also be positive. For example, if it is associated with compassion or the wish to be free from samsara. In ‘The Four Noble Truths’, Geshe Tashi Tsering describes “desire” in the following ways on pp.145-146:

It is impossible to have both desire for samsara and desire to be free from samsara at the same time … Ultimately we have to choose; we cannot have both … If we have the desire, the strong sincere determination, to attain buddhahood or liberation, there is no room for attachment. This aspiration is positive.

Conclusion: To be honest, most of the things that I desire are in samsara. It will only be through a regular daily practice that I manoeuvre my desires in samsara to become desires to be free of samsara. This is not a trivial manoeuvre, because it represents a 180 degree turn away from what I have been habituated towards for lifetimes. Therefore, I should have realistic expectations about changing my mind.