Meeting the ghost

Last night I watched Tara Brach’s video, The Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Tara is a great teacher of mindfulness and she has a deep understanding of mind and our need for self-compassion. Her words, her voice, her ideas, her laugh stayed with me and this morning I find myself being curious about the desires and needs arising within me and around me.

Although our desires are typically good and mobilizing, designed to keep us alive and keep us connected, getting caught in our desires–and the chronic belief that there is lack/wrongness/not-enoughness within us somewhere that has to be filled–is the cause of much suffering. If I am continually looking for security, fulfillment, acceptance, love, nourishment outside myself, I am operating from the idea that I lack the thing I seek from the outer world. Hence the realm of hungry ghosts that will never feel satiated.

Is it possible to let mindfulness help me be curiously and gently aware of my desire? Can I meet it with peace and acceptance? Can I turn toward that feeling and stay with it, getting to know it and letting it be? Perhaps when I allow it to come out of the ghostly realm I will recognize it as a worthwhile part of myself that is ready to have full life.


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