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How to develop a lust for life

Lust, pronunciation: / lʌst / Passionate desire for someone or something.

My teacher, Sharon Gannon, says “the sexiest passion is compassion”, this statement may be puzzling to some since it is not the passion depicted by popular culture and reinforced by the media. As practitioners of yoga, we want to move away from selfish desires and not be blinded by the all consuming effects of lust. When we lust after something with an all consuming passion, we not only blind ourselves but move away from unity and more towards isolation and loneliness. This separation reinforces the idea that you are missing something and ultimately moves you apart from the one true goal of samadhi. In the state of samadhi we see the sama, sameness of all beings, at their highest or dhi. Sri Bramananda Saraswati, says yoga is the state of missing no-thing. Samadhi would be the pinnacle of our journey through that state of union, or yoga.

When you see every being at their highest, your empathy increases and your treatment of others changes, you begin to treat others the same way you would want to be treated. This change extends not only to our actions towards others but also our thoughts and words as we go through life. However, if we ourselves do not see the highest potential in ourselves first, this becomes a difficult task. How does one see themselves at the highest?

It is not the way we look on the outside but the thoughts, intention we apply to acts and the inner desires we carry inside us. You do not need a mirror for self evaluation, just quiet and stillness as your consciousness reveals your inner state. The quickest way to change your inner state is through acts of compassion. When we act compassionate, we are not in the state of wanting, we move towards the state of sharing. It is a shift from receiving something, to that of offering something. When you act kindly towards others, your inner kindness does not decrease, instead it increases by the positive feeling. This can only be experienced through practicing acts of kindness and not by talking about it nor merely thinking about it.

As an experiment, do nice things to others and see how you feel, you will probably feel better. ‏Remember the times you did mean things to others and see how you feel, you will probably not feel good. Observe it for yourself, you may end up feeling a bit more lust for life.

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