Self Deprivation Meditation

Depriving yourself of things that you like can teach you about how desire causes suffering.  The funny thing about desire is that it seems like something that just occurs naturally in us rather than something we manufacture. When we want to take control of our desires, we have to recognize that they are things that we can construct and deconstruct. We deconstruct desires through self deprivation and acceptance.

If you want to start depriving yourself of something, begin a meditation practice. Meditation is the ultimate practice of self deprivation. You do it for a set period of time, for as long as you can stand. Set a timer and sit. You sit in silence. You deprive yourself of movement, talking, listening to music, watching television, texting, eating and whistling, while you pay attention to your thinking. In meditation, you learn to see how your thoughts work as you deprive yourself of these everyday habits. As you get more used to those moments of meditation, you find you a basic feeling of peace in the middle of all that deprivation.

Once you can meditate for fifteen minutes a day, or twice a day, then you find you can do anything. You can quit any habit you want. As you quit an unwanted habit, notice yourself wanting to quit your quitting and restart your habit and notice your discomfort. When you feel the discomfort, you remind yourself that the discomfort is caused by wanting, not by not getting. Soon your cravings will go away. Although you may rid yourself of a bad habit, you may be stuck with a nasty meditation habit and an overwhelming desire to help others.  Such is life, accept it.

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