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Two switches

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

There are two switches: one needs to be turned off, the other needs to be turned on.

The switch to turn off is thirst (which entails a family of attitudes, encompassing craving, clinging, appropriation, attachment, greed, aversion, delusion, ignorance, confusion).

But where to find it? And why should one turn it off? Ordinarily, none of these questions can find a genuine answer, and that's why practice is needed.

In order to understand why and how thirst must be switched off, something else needs to be switched on: happiness and pleasure.

This is a special form of happiness and pleasure, which is typical of meditation practice. Unlike ordinary sensory pleasures based on external triggers and the enjoyment of sense objects, this form of pleasure is born of relief and seclusion. It arises from the ability of appreciating the absence of hindrances, irritants, and stress. It's the subtle pleasure of space, openness, emptiness.

This form of pleasure and happiness is the basis of 'composure' (samādhi), which brings light into experience and enables to understand better what's going on, where the switch of thirst is, and how to turn it off.

This specific form of happiness and pleasure is always available, and can be deliberately cultivated. This skill provides a tremendous reservoir of strength and clarity. But more importantly, it is a necessary tool to cultivate freedom.

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